Nanny, Mamie, Maman… – Alexia McKindsey

APRIL 7, 2020

Nanny, Mamie, Maman…, handmade paper made from baby sheets, embroidery thread, baby sheets, repurposed Rolodex, 10” x 4.5” x 6”, 2019

“In Nanny, Mamie, Maman…,” I repurposed my grandfather’s Rolodex as an archive to contain paper swatches of the textures, patterns and imagery found on my old baby fabrics. Each paper card is made from these same baby sheets; four different types of baby sheets processed four different ways. I then organized the swatches according to the matriarch in my family in which they were passed down to me; my paternal grandmother (Nanny), my maternal grandmother (Mamie) and my mother (Maman). Through the material of the baby sheets, I was thinking about reinforcing notions of preservation, preciousness, intention and utility. Over time, these objects have grown in their significance; keepsakes cherished by the women in my family and tokens to the pivotal period in a caregiver’s life. I saw the time and effort taken to processing the paper pulp as reinforcement of the value, care and adoration placed on these fabrics. The beating and preparing of the pulp recalled the diligence of time and effort taken, as well as the embroidering and reintegration of my childhood patterns recalled the devotion and care instilled by these women preceding me.”

Alexia McKindsey is a Montreal based artist born in 1996 whose work investigates the potential of domestic spaces and its artifacts. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Concordia University, her artistic focus lies predominantly in an oil painting practice. Alexia McKindsey’s practice derives from the spaces she’s inhabited; spaces rich in significance and familial narrative. McKindsey is interested in how our homes reflect the collective memory and mythologies spanning the generations of a family. Pulling from the physical facades and precious relics found in these domains, McKindsey collages their fragments together in order to map out the physical progression of time and tradition that encompasses these dwellings.

You can find more of Alexia’s work on her instagram and her website.

An undergraduate
feminist art & art history