Rosy Martin - Too Close To Home, 1999

Screenshot, Rosy Martin ‘Too Close to Home’, 1999, 8 min

Screenshot, Rosy Martin ‘Too Close to Home’, 1999, 8 min

I was very interested in the two very different relationships seen during this video piece. One being the other and daughter relationship, and the other being the patient carer relationship both heard through recorded answer-machine messages.

What really drew me to this work was how I related to both of these relationships with my grandmother. The first being the Grandmother Grandson relationship and the second being the Grandson and patient relationship when she tells me about recent hospital visits and especially when she was really ill last year in hospital, which was actually when this investigation started.

The relationship to childhood shown through this film is also very interesting to me. I instantly recognised the lamp with the little baubles hanging off of it which I remember playing with a sa child at my grandmothers house. A memory I hadn’t recalled for some time until I saw this piece of work. However it was not all happy memories whilst watching. It gave me a feeling of sadness at the same time. Sadness that Martin’s Grandmother was alone, and it made me reflect on how life will be for my Grandparents once one of them passes away. This is something we has a family had a glimpse of when my grandmother was in hospital.

In some ways it has actually conjured up questions of my own in terms of how to tell the story I am trying to tell. Is the work Im making about me?, is it about my grandmother? or is it about something else entirely.

At present it just seems like a need to record.

I have contacted The Family Ties Network to try and gain permission to post the video on my CRJ. Otherwise you can view the full video here.

Since experiencing this work I wanted to read about the project. Rosy Martin emailed me a link to an essay about the project that I hadn’t come across before. The essay positions the practise and gives some detailed back story about Martin’s reasons for making the work. A few pointers below that resonated with me:

Firstly the opening line is something that I feel explains entirely the urge I had at the start of this investigation to photograph my grandmothers possessions as she was being taken off in the ambulance and that was that; “I am making this work because I must” (Martin, 1999)

Martin, R 1999 Too Close to Home? Tracing a familiar place, ‘N.Paradoxa: International Feminist Art Journal’ vol.3. ‘Body, Space and Memory’