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TRACe - The Museum of Memory

“On entering you will notice that the collection within these rooms appears to belong to one person alone. However, I hope that on closer inspection it will become clear that the exhibits belong to everyone who has ever lived.”

Drawing on Tearne’s background, and experience of loss – she left Sri Lanka for the UK with her family, at the start of the civil unrest during the 1960s – the book imagines an archive and museum collection cultivated from a trunk of photographs and artefacts from an unknown donor. With no known provenance and in poor condition, the collection stands in as a substitute for the lost possessions of every dislocated individual – whether a displaced person or refugee, or simply someone who has been forced by circumstance to leave the familiar behind, losing special objects in the process. People often cannot help themselves but to go on looking for that which belongs to their past, and cannot rest if they can’t find it. TRACe provides that rest – it is the story of a collection, and the house which becomes a museum to hold those possessions. 

Supported by Arts Council England

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