The Gift – TRT 2:05 mins
“The Gift” is part of a larger body of work called “Comorbidity,” which thematically explores the simultaneous experience of diametrically opposed emotions through a familial landscape. Stratton’s archive of family films combine with her own video footage to present us with a dialogue between the past and present, making connections between the two.
In “The Gift,” Stratton juxtaposes family films as they were recorded, with altered footage that slowly pulls the image apart from itself, mimicking the experience of recalling only bits and pieces of a memory. Over time, memory morphs, losing parts of itself and often times reassembling in an inaccurate order when finally recalled. Stratton visually portrays this experience as the images switch back and forth from one place in time to another.
The Rumi quote, “What you seek is seeking you” is visually presented through the layered and repeated image of Stratton herself as the intention of recalling and holding onto familial memories is not only to reminisce, but also to find oneself in the context of others. The gift is thankfulness of what is and is not. It is finding a comforting place in time between personal histories and the present.
Heather Stratton is a lens-based artist/educator from Battle Creek, Michigan. Her visual and sound works have been exhibited throughout the nation, garnering her a visiting artist appointment at the EWHA Women’s College in Seoul, South Korea in 2013 and a successful sound art album release in 2014. She has participated in numerous film festivals and has been an invited guest speaker for several panels addressing time based media across the United States. Stratton has been teaching lens based and electronic media for several years; she currently teaches at the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, MI. Stratton’s work addresses confessional themes of feminism, the supernatural, the memory ghost and familial landscapes.