20 Feb Frozen in Time: A Visual Essay by Kimberley Boudville
As many of you may know, young Malaysian artist Kimberley Boudville is currently in Singapore attending the Nanyang Academy of Fine Art (NAFA) where she is pursuing her Bachelors Honours in Fine Arts Practice degree, and as one can expect she’s been keeping herself busy. This visual essay first appeared on Kimberley’s Facebook page, and is reproduced here with the artist’s permission.
The two sets of works featured in this post are:
1. If I Can Stop Time (2020)
Crystalized butterflies, dried leaves, branches encased in 10 bell jars
10 x 19 cm (each)
2. Time Capsule (2020)
Crystalized butterflies and branches encased in 3 glass displays on teak wood tables
24 x 36 x 75 cm / 29 x 42 x 85 cm / 35 x 50 x 110 cm
Swipe or use the arrow keys to advance/reverse, or hover over the image to pause
An imaginary fantasy world and safe space have become the central theme of my works. This world can be described as a garden, as it’s a personal space that can exceed beyond physical and imaginary limits. After the loss of my paternal grandfather in 2017, maternal grandmother in 2018 and father in 2019, I’ve used art as a coping mechanism to process and express my innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions.
This garden started off as a forest; an imaginary place for a story to be told. As time passed, with some mental venturing and world building of this large and vast world, I’ve come to realize it is my own garden; planted with my flowers, built to suit various terrains and many personalized features that I find comfort in. It has become a safe and comfortable space that I’ve nurtured and tended to.
My efforts to share my emotions though my works have come in various mediums from paintings to ink drawings and even rotoscope animations. But it only gives a glimpse into what my world is. Going back to the root and core of the garden, I’m on a journey to understand why I chose a garden to grieve and why I hold on to this garden so dearly.
I’ve come to realize that the creation of my garden was to memorialize the strong bond that I had with my late father. The bond I had with him has become the core memory that has shaped my life growing up and becoming the person that I am today. Core memories is a term used for moments in our lives that shape our personalities.
My fascination with nature and its conservation has contributed to my world building which stemmed from the activities my father and I shared during my childhood. Without fail, every weekend we had daddy-daughter dates, he would take me to places of interest like the zoo, botanical gardens, butterfly and bird parks, aquariums, science centres and museums. The memories of having spent those precious moments with him will live on in my memory forever.
If I Can Stop Time
This curiosity and appreciation came from the hours of my daddy’s dedication in teaching me about the world, its wonders and its history, will serve as everlasting lessons that goes beyond the classroom. The beauty and appreciation in the flora and fauna have influenced my life and art practice. Thus, it was only natural to build a garden of comfort when I needed space and time to grieve and to remember those moments with him. I feel close to him when I go back in time to those moments. Creating this sculptural and installation method of storytelling and world building, I had the intention to create a “time capsule” to memorialize the beauty and preciousness of those moments. To capture a moment, even if it was the last time, is truly precious.
Working with beautiful fast flying creatures like butterflies, to be able to capture and freeze them in time holds significance to that moment. If only I could go back in time to those days when I was out venturing with my daddy, to relive another moment with him.
In love and loss, we will always wish for more time and if time could stop for us to relive those past adventures. By creating this project, it has brought closure to my grief and my ability to open up and share the strong and wonderful bond I had with my father. I wish I could spend one last trip to the museum with him, but time moves on and by making my own exhibits, our bond will be encased and immortalized until the end of time,
Daddy, I dedicate these beautiful pieces to you.
Your memory and everything that you have taught me will live on forever.
You have never really left me; I can still feel your love.
Text, images and video by Kimberley Boudville