The Story of the girl and the apple tree
Central to this work was Tracy Mackenna & Edwin Janssen's daughter Esméemilja's growing shoe collection, presented in a giant cardboard shoe box together with text cut and scattered from a black and white image, and a sound component.
The sound piece (click triangle to play fragment) combined recordings of ordered and unordered sounds, the density increasing as layers build over the work’s duration: metronome, cuckoo clock, tap dancing, weather, birds, rain ...
A companion publication was produced, comprising of 20 image cards in a box with a story written by Esméemilja and Tracy. The tale interweaves Esméemilja's reflections on her shoe collection and ideas about memory, ageing, creative freedom, possession, fairy-tales, female childhood, time and biological growth.
The Story of the Girl and the Apple Tree was partly inspired by György Ligeti's 'Poème Symphonique' for 100 Metronomes and by Karl Popper’s text 'Of Clouds and Clocks: an approach to the problem of rationality and the freedom of man'. Popper’s metaphor of clocks and clouds describes the two ends of the spectrum of predictability in social science: clouds represent the disorderly and irregular, and clocks represent the predictable and rational. Two limited edition badges 'Clocks are Clouds' and 'Clouds are Clocks', distributed free, reflect these two opposing positions.
Inherent in 'The Story of the Girl and the Apple Tree' is a consideration of the cycle of life, explored earlier by the artists in their video work 'Growth, Form and the Inevitability of Herself' that linked the growth cycle of a garden to the human process of ageing, focussed through images of Tracy’s mother, Josephine.