Making mobiles is tedious and painful. I am constantly poked with wires and my hands are raw from pliers and polishing. I have rubbed and rubbed to make tarnished things sparkle, and I have gotten ill from the fumes. But I am happy with the mobiles, happy and seduced. Constructed from several purchases and some donations from my neighbours and family, they are shinning, spinning—hopeful. But I wait for something to give, for the crash, for the fall to the floor. It is difficult to ensure that their weight can be supported.
cradlesong consists of 50 mobiles made from collected and polished vintage serving items and jewelry. Each is connected to a motor that spins the mobile and a re-constructed and tinny version of “Mamma’s going to buy you a mockingbird” plays from above.
The piece began with an investigation into lullabies. I was interested in the lyrics of songs like ‘Mamma’s going to buy you a mockingbird’ that promote security through the accumulation of domestic things. I found that there was a strong contradiction between the physical nurturing that typically comforts a child when a lullaby is sung and the message of the song that promotes attainment.
These mobiles are aesthetic symbols of inheritance, both seductive and distracting. While they are shiny, spinning, and hopeful they are also weighty and unsettling for viewers when standing underneath. The mobiles are positioned so that they are out of reach and viewers are bathed in shadows. cradlesong proposes that values are inscribed through spoken language, a language of material, and memory.
You tube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk-r6AuaBGY
A publication on this work can be found here: