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Jessica Poser on the “Memory Palace” Project

The Memory Palace is a project that was designed to explore the interweaving narratives between myself and a group of seniors that I worked with over a period of months. Although the project was structured to elicit stories and memories from the seniors, the work and the process became emergent and changed as we worked together. I worked with seniors from two Birchez senior residential communities in Kingston and Esopus. I began visiting with the seniors in September and continued through December. I visited each site every week and as we got to know each other, we established a working community in which the seniors developed their own expressive styles and voices. I wove some of the resulting work into a textile piece that included embroidered text and images made by both myself and the participants. The project incorporates embroidering, quilting and applique methods, is quite labor intensive and is still in the process of being completed. The finished piece will be exhibited at both Birchez and the Kingston Library. My work often explores networks and webs of images, sites, text and history. By working with, and learning from the wonderful seniors who participated in this project, I was able to take a more expansive approach to my own process, and as the seniors became more comfortable, they often pursued their own interests and curiosities that branched off the project. I hope that I have done justice to their work.

Short bio: Jessica Poser creates mixed-media works that explore the psychodynamic intersections of natural and built environments and forms.  Her work investigates the aesthetics of craft and the handmade as a means with which to draw connections between psychological and material processes.  I have recently worked on a similarly emergent and collaborative project with students at SUNY Ulster in which we created a first amendment textile piece. This project was in connection with my show, an eye open, at the Muroff Kotler gallery January 27-February 17.