Millie Player



Ilium Cafe, 100 Marchmont Cres, Edinburgh EH9 1HD

I view time as an empty vessel, into which we may pour our perception of it. My work reflects the way that I visualise time, mythologising lives and a past that are not mine, so that I may more greatly understand the layers making up my own life. My practice is heavily intertwined with research, the collection and examination of found materials, the recognition of the gap of time between the artefacts and yourself.

I create a narrative from the connections and symbols within the material; drawing is a means of documenting the suspension I experience between the two times. I aim to create surreal narratives to mirror the wonder I feel in trying to grasp and document the strangeness and fluidity of time, consequences, and connections. I look to the rich works of Hilma Af Klint, Louise Bourgeois and Hanne Darboven to understand the instinctual ways that they created symbols that to tell stories in their work that appealed to connotations of a personal history and that of the viewer.

In my series of work, Thin Places, the title itself a reference to an 'in-between' of time, I aspired to fabricate what this distance would look like. Central to this work were old documents, schoolbooks and fabrics collected by my grandmother throughout her life, and the discussions of the memories and events connected to them. Her past is the time which I may not experience, the memorabilia between us proved that, but was also the basis of our conversations. In drawing the lines, shapes, and marks I saw, I carved them into my own existence. They become motifs that transport me to another time whilst still echoing my present. I drew in grey pencil, focused on the feeling behind what I saw. Yet, the pieces did not truly come together until I sent them to my grandmother for her to colour in; the colour represents the literal life she gives to the material. It is particularly poignant since, at my age, she was refused her wish to study art.

Therefore, the drawings are the result of a deepening relationship between the two of us. The marks punctuate an understanding of each other and the parallels between both of our lives, though they stretch, interweave, and overlap through different times.