Created in response to the theme "mindset" for Workman Arts' juried group show of the same name.
When we were little, one of my cousins and I used to sit at the bar in my grandparents’ basement and create potions: concoctions made from the dregs of beer bottles and wine glasses, chip bag crumbs, walnut shells, whatever we could find. Sometimes we took our potion-making into the park – looking for knots in trees and adding mud, sticks, stones, flower petals – or into the bathroom, where Old Spice mixed with just about anything would fizz up and over the sink and onto the floor. We called it Jigojago. But don’t ask me where that word came from, or what it meant.
Over the years, my mind sometimes stirs up its own witches’ brew: a mix of memories it tells me I should look at more closely – to help make sense of what I will never know about my paternal grandmother’s breakdown, the years she spent in the Ontario Hospital, and the lines between her and me. I’ve had my own bouts with anxiety and depression, and I’ve often thought if now was then, then was now, maybe things would have been different for her. Still, I can’t help but wonder: What holds us together? And what happens when we fall apart?
Jigojago was comprised of Polaroids made with a refurbished SX-70 – a folding, single-lens reflex Land Camera produced in 1972, the year I was born. Unlike traditional Polaroids, which developed in an instant, today’s film – like memories and the search for meaning – is slow to develop, allowing the picture-making process to unfold over time, with often unexpected results.