'As flowers turn towards the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism the past strives to turn toward that sun which is rising in the sky of history.' (Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philosophy of History)
In 'A Secret Heliotropism', I have made a visual analogy for the constantly shifting way in which we understand events in history. My understanding of Benjamin's idea is that our view of history changes depending on our position - geographical, political, moral or philosophical. Just as a flower follows the sun round the sky, so we too change the meaning of historical events to suit ourselves. Because my piece is about time and memory, it has its basis in appropriation. Not only is my starting point Benjamin's quote, but the work itself has been created from a found history book. Over the course of a year, each of the 320 pages have been painstakingly hand cut into a leaf pattern so that the leaves (pun intended) stretch out from the book towards a source of natural sunlight, as though the book itself were growing and changing in the same way history does.
Hand cut found book; full colour, 320 pages; one off edition