Monday, August 22, 2016

Layers of memory and Red 71

Earlier in the week during a brief time awake in the early hours I turned on the television and saw part of a TV programme with Rory Bremner visiting an ice cream parlour in The Mumbles Swansea.

During the later years of my Mother's life she had a flat on the edge of Swansea and one of her pleasures was to spend some time at Verdi's for one of their Ice Creams, visiting from London I took her there on more than one occasion- it is a memory that I have not dwelt on for some time.
A Postcard can drive a memory 

Of course death is always with us but as a younger person it often appears to be something that only happens to other people - and reflecting on the nature of existence does not always come easily or comfortably.

Unlike other animals though we are aware and reconciled to a form of loss and separation from a fairly young age - think of the child going to school or later college - often we are expected to hide our true feelings whether it is as the departing person or the one left - as we socialise our feelings around death become something we might feel it is easier to keep to ourselves.

Man's desire to impose a narrative can help to explain the variety and number of different 'faiths' but in some respects the way we handle our loss is to relegate to a hidden away recess of our mind and to put it in a too difficult to process box to be dealt with later.
A happy memory of my parents

A friend of mine recently lost his younger, adult brother to cancer- it was a death where those saying goodbye, friends and family had a chance to spend time together (around 9 months) and adjust, but still there remain feelings  undoubtedly of loss and a guilt about a loved one who is no longer with them -did we give him the best time we could, were we sometimes irritated by the uncomfortable situation?.

If we look at domestic animals, like cats and dogs  who have lost another animal who has shared a household - we see animals we describe as 'lonely' and recognise their puzzlement - for us it is a loss we can reflect on but depending on a faith (or no faith)  we can comfort ourselves that they have gone to  'a better place' or that they are no longer in pain.

The subject of death is a difficult one - the idea that someone who is suffering should be released from their suffering is not unreasonable but our ideas in the abstract often change as we face reality and the way we adjust to someone no longer being around is an ongoing negotiation - with odd little 'blips' triggered by our memory banks- even by unexpected TV programmes in the early hours ...

Red 71

Another Red retailer at Westfields was Camper with which I feel a strong association having conducted a number of design tours at their Design Museum exhibition during summer 2015.

Their emphasis on design permeated the brand and was reflected in idiosyncratic shops as well as the footwear.

Camper the Spanish footwear brand - No two of their stores are the same 
[see a rough cut of the ongoing project here]
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