J a n e t M c E w a n

Reviresco

Super 8 B&W film. 3mins. Hand processed with sound.

Reviresco translates from Latin as: to grow green again; to grow strong or young again.
It is the motto of the Clan McEwan, who lost their modest lands on the west coast of Scotland in the late 15th century.

In May 2013 my mother, Wilma McEwan, died following a precipitous decline in health. I was completely unprepared, as despite being 80 years old, she was very active. As my father died in 1999, this event signalled another ending - as her house, which I considered my home, and base, in Scotland, had to be sold. 2 years later, I travelled to Scotland to search for the remains of ‘Castle McEwan’, which are to be found on a remote rocky outcrop on the banks of Loch Fyne, on the west coast. There, I scattered some of my mother’s ashes, and signed the McEwan clan book I discovered in the nearby Kilfinnan hotel, before heading to Edinburgh to meet my younger daughter. I travelled alone on this trip, which felt like a pilgrimage: a way to somehow locate myself in a scheme of things I cannot understand.

I documented this trip with a Super 8 camera and later added a sound track which includes a voiceover of me speaking backwards: perhaps an attempt to both turn back time and amplify my struggle to find meaningful words to convey my sense of loss.

Reviresco was shown publicly for the first time in Jan 2016 in Lost for Words :
an exhibition organised by CAFÉ MORTE– Art in the Wake of Death

Café Morte looks at the way in which visual culture represents death and dying, mourning and grieving through art, dreams, desires, imagery and poetry.

CAFÉ MORTE is a pop up research group made up of senior lecturers, undergraduate and postgraduate students from Falmouth University, curators and artists. Its central focus is to discuss the rich and varied themes of death found in art and literature. We have adopted the model of the recently popular Death Cafés, which have arisen worldwide as a meeting place in which to discuss death over a cup of tea.

< Lost For Words online catalogue.