First Place: Odette England
Artist Statement: Thrice Upon A Time
Mum #1, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Dad #1, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Mum #2, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Dad #4, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Mum #3, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Dad #3, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Mum #4, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Dad #2, from the series 'Thrice Upon A Time'
Thrice Upon A Time
Thrice Upon A Time is a performative 'homecoming' in collaboration with my parents. Under my parents direction, they revisit the dairy farm in South Australia they loved and lost (owing to potential bankruptcy) every month for one year, wearing on the soles of their shoes a selection of negatives I made at the farm in 2005: negatives that depict places where my parents took family snapshots of me as a child. The severely damaged negatives are then sent to me for redevelopment. Thrice Upon A Time is thus a movement of reclamation. Since I cannot work the land farm with my hands, I work it through the tread of my parents. The motivation for this work stems from a longing of an idealized version of place. I am simultaneously remembering, depicting, and fabricating a fantasy. My parents' repetitive, ritualistic motion makes the photographs look as if they were found rotting in the eaves of the farm's roof, grieving for their owner. The black holes and chasms in the negatives become breaks in reality: they mythologize a holy land, an inheritance that I am owed.
The project requires ongoing repeat visits to the farm, to produce a sufficient quantity of damaged negatives that allow for seasonal and weather-based changes. Some negatives are so cracked and battered, they need to be pieced back together with tweezers; other times, they remain intact. The funds will be used towards processing, developing and printing further works for the series: making heavily textured, near-fatal prints that highlight brief moments between a foot touching the ground and being lifted for the next step, giving brief pause before pain.