Friday, 13 December 2013

It's Christmas time ♥

Yes, it is! I must say though that my excitement about Christmas died during the late '90s and early noughties, around the time I decided to leave my country and come to the UK.  My decision, although thoroughly thought out was also based on my survival instinct.

Back then things weren't great for me and I knew I had to do something drastic. My mum was the only person I truly loved and I just wanted to be with her. As paradoxical this might sound, I decided the only way to be able to cope with the things life was throwing at me was to leave her instead. Our hearts broke but we both knew that for life to continue this was a step that needed to be taken.

I have never met anyone as courageous as my mother and you'll often see me writing about her. I sometimes ask myself if I would ever have the courage to let one of my children go as she did with me. 

I was a complicated person but she "got me". As a matter of fact, coming to London saved my life and indeed changed it for the better too - and I only have my mum to thank.

For me Christmas doesn't bring back many childhood memories, in fact only a few come to mind. But the feeling of happiness during my early years definitely emerges and now, after many years of glossing over Christmas, I can finally start enjoying it again...albeit through the eyes of my children.

The build up is by far the best thing about Christmas. The countdown on the various advent calendars scattered around the house, the secret talks between me and my husband Mike about the choice of presents, the shopping, the hiding and the night before when we get going on the wrapping over a glass or two of port. A great deal of preparation and labour goes into my Christmas these days but the happiness always outways the fatigue.

I'm usually late sending my Christmas cards too, but not this year. Not sure what came over me... but today it's only the 12th of December and my cards are in the post box ready to be delivered. This year Dixie designed the card and this is what it looks like:

I also made a little celebratory installation this Christmas.  Too often I get sucked into my own universe thinking about the chaos in my life and forgetting that in the end, my life is not that bad at all. It's not very often I take the opportunity to pause and appreciate it (Although I think I do, I don't!). So this week I got to reflecting upon it.

"Unmade Christmas Tree" is a work made out of clothes belonging to me and my family, randomly layered one at the top of the other to form the shape of a Christmas tree. However uncool and unpopular, I decided to use the Christmas tree shape. It makes sense to me right now as for many, Christmas is indeed a time of reflection and a collective memory. 

In this work I try to create order by placing and balancing the clothes - in the same way as I try to arrange and control my everyday life. One on top of the other, a bit wobbly and precarious, each item supports the next just as we try to do day after day.

This pile of clothes in the shape of a Christmas tree symbolises the passage of time and the mourning (in advance) of my children's passing childhood and my most precious moments. 

Amy Dignam 2013 ©  

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