100 Day Project Week Six


This morning I can’t get the word nostalgia out of my head. I’m not sure why.

Yesterday as I was driving, I mentioned to my daughter that I didn’t know what to write about for this weeks blog. A second later the most stunning ivory vintage car came into view causing us both to comment how lovely it was. Why is it, I wondered out loud, that some things create such delight? As Issie responded, my brain latched onto a word she used. Nostalgia.

“Hmm”, I found myself saying, “nostalgia could be a good topic?”

“Why? How does that relate to your art?” she said.

At the time my response made perfect sense, but now that I’m sat here writing I’m no longer sure, so I’m trying to puzzle it out. The word is niggling away at me, like it’s trying to make itself heard. It’s as if a part of my brain has discovered an important message that I can’t quite grasp. So frustrating. And I can’t even recall what I said at the time to convince Issie.

So back to basics. I’ve taken a look at my Artists Statement for clues: “My art is very much inspired by childhood memories, by my love of fairy tales, a love of nature, and a preoccupation with winged things. My creations allow me to re-enter the endlessly curious, playful and nostalgic imaginative world of my childhood.”

Hmm, does that help?

Isn’t this post and my blog supposed to be about my audience and what you want to hear and know?

I don’t know if my creations generate the same feelings in my audience as they do in me…….

Ahh, yes, I think I’ve found it! The clue!

My work aims to inspire and ignite your imagination.

My sculptures are not children’s toys, but like childhood toys, I hope that they encourage you to smile, to rediscover your childhood imagination and to regard the wonder of the natural world as a beautiful playground once again.

In short, I want my work to make you feel nostalgic too.


Because, as you probably know, I have a continuing preoccupation with wanting to help others with their mental health.

A sense of nostalgia is often triggered by sadness, it’s one of our brains coping mechanisms. Remembering happier times, like happy childhood memories, can increase feelings of happiness and improve our mood, a bit like wrapping yourself in a warm protective blanket.

Therefore doesn’t it follow that creating a physical trigger, that brings about a state of nostalgia, also causes these same feelings of security and happiness?

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if simply turning a toys handle did exactly that?

Is that what I’m trying to do? Yes I think it probably is. What a wonderful dream of an idea. To create a little piece of magic, to gift-wrap that feeling and give it to someone else.

A little crazy I know, but it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to think this might be possible.

I’d love to know your thoughts on today’s musings.

Perhaps I’m being too simplistic in my thinking. My little creations may not generate the same reactions and feelings in you as they do me?

My head has come full circle. Nostalgia? That’s an awful lot of expectation for a little piece of moving textile art!

Until next week

Mary-Ann x

My progress on days 37 to 43 of my 100 day project:

  • I covered three automata bases with my little embroideries
  • I made a third little bird to complete the trio
  • and I’ve designed and begun creating the mechanisms to make the little birds fly!

One Comment:

  1. The flower embroidery is just like the cloth and the PE bag my mum made and taught me to do so long ago, definitely comforting nostalgia for me .She would have loved what you are doing xx

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