The past is not simply there in memory, but must be articulated to become memory. The fissure that opens up between experiencing an event and remembering it in representation is unavoidable. Rather than lamenting or ignoring it, this split should be understood as a powerful stimulant for cultural and artistic creativity. The temporal status of any act of memory is always the present […]

Andreas Huyssen, Twilight Memories: marking time in a culture of amnesia 1995

How can we construct, and reconstruct our own pasts? How can that creative exploration of the gap between past and present be used to change the way we feel about it? Can we use it as a way to heal?

Cowboy Daddy is a poignant and moving re-staging of a past. Cinarel re-imagines and dramatises his memories of his father in both a way of examining the gap between past and present, and also a way of closing that gap, and a form of closure. He re-stages the past to create a dreamy, filmic version of not how his memories of his father were, but of how he would like them to be, as a process of healing. Ghosts of objects theatrically haunt the space, which is a both a film set and a stage.

Cinarel’s paintings are imagined memory fragments, storyboards of an imaginary spaghetti western, of an imaginary past where the presence of violence and an absence of love become a beautiful dreamlike sequence of film stills. The drama played out is a theatrical re-narration of Cowboy Daddy, a re-performance of the past where Cowboy Daddy and Cowboy Child have a new relationship, a new past. They go camping, ride horses, they hug.
Cinarel re-authors his memories, through haunted re-stagings that bring the ghost of his father through his words and material objects into this space in the present, in order to create a new space of archetypal love between father and son.

Jeanie Sinclair
Associate Lecturer & PhD Researcher, Falmouth University
Research Fellow, St Ives Archive