Marie Young: The Skinny Showcase
Kochi kochi is Japanese slang for kochira and translates in English as a polite way of saying “This way!” or “Over here!” Inspired by this after many trips to Tokyo, Marie Young felt it a fitting moniker to sum up her work and style.
A multi-disciplinary freelance graphic artist and part-time lecturer, Young explores various forms, from combining computer-generated visuals with more traditional and tactile mediums such as needlework and knitting, to her most recent exploration, OBJECT, which challenges the conventional way of archiving, and our responsibilities around the possessions of loved ones who have passed away.
Originally from Anglesey, Young moved to the Northwest in 2003, completing her BA in Graphic Arts at Liverpool School of Art and Design in 2006, and her MFA in Graphic Design and Art Direction from Manchester School of Art in 2015. Marie has been moving between Liverpool and Manchester throughout, producing work for a wide range of clients across various sectors, and creating design for large-scale, mass-participation art events.
OBJECT was completed while on her MFA and made in collaboration with her close friend Imke Oppenkamp, a Liverpool-based photographer. German-born, Oppenkamp is inspired by pop art and British culture, with a particular fascination for football cultures, especially Liverpool FC.
“The images featured on these pages form part of an archive of a music equipment collection left to me by my husband, John Young, when he passed away in 2013. Through making this archive I have not only made a record of each item in the collection, but I now also feel more comfortable in letting go of these treasured objects that I am unable to use.
“Each image distils a moment of our time together; they are a combination of items from the collection and shared memories of ours as a couple. The more you knew us, the more likely you are to understand what each image may be about; if you didn’t know us at all then I still hope that the images communicate our sense of humour to you!
“By sharing this personal archive, I hope to make people feel more comfortable and open to discuss such issues as death, loss and responsibility. It is also my hope that perhaps one day OBJECT may help someone else in a similar situation who might find this way of working creatively with sentimental objects helpful to them also.
“Place holds as much power and memory as sentimental objects do. When on a trip to Berlin, I came out from an underground station which happened to be where John and I had once got lost together. I remembered the moment instantly and wanted to shout it out to everyone there.
“After this, I decided to transfer the images from the archive onto flags, to take them to these places of significance and to fly them for the whole world to see. I chose the places and set off on my journey around the globe to fly the flags for John. I hoped that it might also encourage people to start conversations with me and suggest questions around subjects that too often remain taboo.
“Once I began to fly the flags, it felt too forced, I felt uncomfortable doing this in such public spaces and it felt as if I had taken what I was doing a step too far for myself. Although I have not continued with this journey, I feel that it is just as important that I share it with you.
“OBJECT has been a healthy way for me to work creatively with grief, yet it is also important that I realised when to stop. By sharing, I may also help someone else who perhaps needs to take a step back, or maybe even feels that flying their own flag would help them in some way too.”
Marie Young: kochi-kochi.co.uk
Imke Oppenkamp: contactimke.myportfolio.com