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A Touch of Memory 1 low res Martina Hyna
A Touch of Memory II low res Martina Hyn
A Touch of Memory III low res Martina Hy

'If Not Now When', Spilt Milk Gallery, making motherhood visible

Online art exhibition, 8th March 2021 - 11th April 2021

A Touch of Memory

In this work I allowed myself time to reflect on how the pandemic has impacted me personally. Like many people I lost someone very close to me and have found the strangeness of the times difficult to think with and through. During this time I have tried to continue my PhD research and have found the work of feminist critical posthumanist thinkers such as Rosi Braidotti and new materialists theorists such as Jane Bennett, Stay Alaimo, Erin Manning, Natalie Loveless and others, very comforting.

A Touch of Memory is a speculative work in which I am exploring how the entanglement of bodies, matter and memory during the pandemic and post-pandemic might help reshape our intra-relationships with/in the world.

In the depths of our first lockdown in April 2020 my Mother died. The pandemic restrictions meant that I had limited time with her but I was fortunate enough to be able to hold her hand and kiss her goodbye. Not all family members were able to do this.


Since then I have become increasingly interested in our changing relationship with touch during the pandemic and my own understanding of touch hunger, human-to-human touch and more-than-human touch.

In A Touch of Memory I am exploring how matter and things, such as the childhood doll given to me by my Mother and the dahlia rhizomes that belonged to my Father, enable me to consider the enmeshment of touch memory with/in bodies and things reminding me that becoming is a more-than-human event and that now is the time to reimagine how to be with/in the world through an eco-social with eco-maternal art practice.

 As Jane Bennett says:

“Thing-power materialism emphasizes the closeness, the intimacy, of humans and nonhumans. And it is here, in a heightened sense of that mutual implication, that thing-power materialism can contribute to an ecological ethos”.

(Jane Bennett, The Force of Things: Steps toward an Ecology of Matter in Political theory, 32, 347-372. P.365)

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