Kayleigh Cornish

Artist Catalogue

Virtual Exhibition


A small blue shed, a chalk board, a couple stools and two young girls. Teachers, artists, doctors, shop owners, ice cream trucks and kites. This shed will only exist in my memories now. In my childhood and my nostalgia.

“Y(OUR) MEMORY” began with a continuous and recently increased interest in nostalgia for my childhood. I believe it was spurred on by the many shifts which have and will occur moving forward. Shifts in my life stages, expectations, responsibilities, and knowledge. But more so due to the fact that a place that holds many of my childhood memories will no longer be a space I can access. The space therefore will only exist within my childhood, and I will only be able to access it through my nostalgic reminiscing. However, my interest reaches beyond my gran’s beach house and shed. I believe my interest is from a longing to reconnect with aspects of my childhood. Through the construction of sandcastles and cup towers. With in the work childhood is understood as a spatio-temporal condition in which one is looking forward, and backward simultaneously. Showing a duality of hope and melancholy in reminiscing about one’s childhood in relation to ones’ current or future self.

The physicality of my work began with my connection to memory and shells. Shells had become a way that my gran had captured moments and memories, mnemonic objects which could transport her back to a precious experience with family and friends. Collecting gave the thing a purpose and value. Removing the necessary information on a surface was a way of distorting and playing with the notion of access.

What defines nostalgia for ones’ childhood may vairy for each individual viewer. My idea of what constitutes childhood is fluid, not based in time but rather the feeling of comfort. Reminiscing as a form of closure for ones’ childhood. Memory gives us access to things that are no longer accessible or present. In this vein my work continuously plays off what is present and accessible to the viewers.  

I began by videoing myself and my family members building sandcastles as adults. This was an exploration of selfcare and self-exploration. The sandcastles became an extension of the body, childhood, and ‘home’.  These sandcastles and videos were then used to create a memory collage video and Cyanotype maps, created from drawings of the sandcastles and cup towers, representing the Topography of my memory landscape. The Construction of a shattered shed into fragile towering structures, an embodiment of my memories within a space. The Boards represent the haphazard and fragmented recall and collage nature of memory. With elements on the surface, present, absent and the remnants of something having been there. As well as the floating shelves filled with dust, representative of the inability to completely destroy a thing, even in the process a trace is left behind.

“It is perhaps a more fortunate destiny to have a taste for collecting shells than to be born a millionaire” Louis Stevenson