Little Piece of Madeleine

As an artist I am interested in the concept of memory and the affects that memory has on our emotions. Within my practice I want to pursue the idea of a photograph triggering a memory.

During my Critical Study essay (Does the Photograph Remember Everything?) I learnt that photographs do indeed trigger memories rather than destroy them and also provoke an emotional reaction. However as my career within the fine art industry develops I wish to explore the possibilities of incorporating photography with other stimuli to generate memories which prompt the other senses, such as taste, smell, hearing and touch.

Having been inspired by something that Marcel Proust wrote in his book Remembrance of things Past Vol. 1, I will begin my next journey experimenting with photography and my other area of interest – Surrealism, (which has been a continuing theme throughout my past assignments thus far) to create a body of work that represents me as an artist. What surrealism offers me as an artist is the opportunity to be creative without limitations or restrictions. I can expand on a connotation or hide it all together and explore the conscious memory and the subconscious imagination.


“No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin… this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.”

— Marcel Proust, Remembrance of things Past

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