“At Least I Have You, To Remember Me”
This show explores the idea of historical importance through paintings and the active engagement of reading, smell and memory.
Eight acrylic paintings of portraits of pioneering women scientists are the subjects of historical forgetfulness.
Next to each painting is a mounted letter written to You, from the scientist. In a manner of historical fiction, the letter is personal narrative, framing her challenges and accomplishments and what her work did for science.
History becomes the future through memory. Will you remember her?
In each piece, her scientific achievement is an accessory or wallpaper–an allusion to how male-dominated science has viewed her historical importance.
The wooden plaques are saturated with layers of essential oils, which gives each letter a faint fragrance. Essential oils are the plant’s communication system and like an invisible language, the aroma tells of truths just under our conscious awareness.
“At Least I Have You, To Remember Me” is tactile and temporal, asking You to take the time to become a witness, to investigate and absorb the messages from the past to become the future vessel of an imagined memory.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt
Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale