We each absorb experiences and sensations from the moment we are born, and our childhood influences naturally play an important — and in some cases defining — role in our adult lives. This would seem to hold especially true for visual artists, who often cite specific incidents from memory as a catalyst for their overall creative paths, as direct influences on a particular piece of work, or as having played a key role in the development of their aesthetic style.
Denise Scott Brown in the Las Vegas Desert with the Strip behind her, 1966, courtesy Archives of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
Writer and curator Clare Farrow was curious to dig deeper into the link between memory and creativity. She sat down with six leading architects and designers to discuss the topic, and has compiled her interviews, together with visual material from her subjects, to present the exhibition Childhood ReCollections: Memory in Design at the Roca London Gallery.
The gallery’s architect, Zaha Hadid, is one of the six who have participated, alongside Kengo Kuma; Daniel Libeskind; Nieto Sobejano; Denise Scott Brown and Philip Treacy. The multi-sensory show, described as an “interactive cabinet of curiosities”, features photographs; objects; materials; scents; film and music from the past, plus examples illustrating their later influence. Farrow has identified some common themes among the internationally diverse contributors, including the strong impression left by nature and music, the legacy of displacement, and the impact of world events on individual stories. Childhood ReCollections: Memory in Design runs until 23 January 2016.