"We are surrounded by voices, by remembering" Edmund De Waal
This redacted deconstructed book of Mrs Opie"s poems was made to be displayed across the beautiful medieval walls of the undercroft in the Bridewell, Museum of Norwich. Pages resting on walls with seven hundred years of history etched across its surface. Suspended between fine threads woven across rusting nails left by a Victorian shoemaker, these fragile moments gently unfold, as Opie's voice resonates through the centuries. Thoughts echo between us:hang quietly as time seeks to dissolve those connections. While making this work, I was conscious how attitudes and perspectives shift and slide through time. Formed from Opie’s words, these pages become a visual poem: an ongoing conversation in the twenty first century. I am left with questions: Who is now the author? Whose voice is now speaking? Is it Amelia? Is it mine? I wonder is history not a continual process of redaction? Of loss and gain, of recording and rewriting experiences? Stories travel over time a new text emerges, words that remain as poignant today.
The Poems of Mrs Opie: A Return to Possibilities Author Amelia Opie 1811 Artist Chris Ruston 2023 L 17.3cm x W 11.5cm x 3.5cm Altered Book, Redacted Text.