Danielle Krcmar
in collaboration with Derek Brain
Things Worth Remembering


Steel, cement, china pieces, mixed found and donated objects


Artist's Statement
Obelisks, with their association of enduring greatness, became popular for family memorials after Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaigns. Their pure uplifting lines were considered in the best taste and they could be used in relatively small spaces. In contrast, Memory Jugs were a folk art form consisting of a recycled ceramic vessel covered with personal items embedded in putty. Some think that they were originally made by slaves and often used as grave markers.

We have combined these two concepts to allow the funky, personal Memory Jug to become grand, and to make the elegant obelisk less austere. In Egypt, obelisks were covered in hieroglyphs describing the event they commemorate. Here, the surface of china pieces and other memorabilia replace inscriptions, integrating the evidence of lives past and present. The primary mosaic material is china shards collected at Carson Beach in Dorchester – domestic fragments which give a glimpse of many personal histories, now lost. To this, individuals have donated their own personal memorabilia – buttons, belt buckles, keys, beads, solo earrings, marbles, old coins. The combination of objects honors old memories and stories while creating new ones.

My first piece at Forest Hills (with collaborator Lisa Osborn) was Resting Benches. For The 4 Elements, I sculpted a group of small-scale domestic objects – tools, clothing, furniture – selected to create a portrait of their absent owner. My intention was to reveal the way that the material things we own describe who we are. For Things Worth Remembering, I asked people to donate actual objects which hold meaning for them and represent an aspect of who they are. As a sculptor observing the environment of Forest Hills, particular motifs and materials catch my attention. I have used and transformed these elements in my sculpture here to speak about ideas of presence, absence, loss, memory, personal histories, and larger community.

Resting Benches


Lisa Osborn, collaborator

Favorite Things:
an Indirect Portrait


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