Description: I started my baby lotion collection as a young teenager, at that crucial time when girls get interested in the kinds of beauty products that will turn them into women. My make-up phase didn’t last long. Spending early mornings with lipstick, eyeliner and mascara (things that didn’t seem to look good on me anyway) gave way to a healthy preference for sleeping in late. But lotions, the makers of soft skin and seductive odor, those I liked. They were not just luxurious; they were also protective, empowering, calming and playful.
As I got older I realized that I didn’t want to switch from the subtler, sweeter baby lotions to the overly perfumed smells of “adult lotions.”
Therefore, certain baby lotions began to correspond to specific events in my life. Lotions began to store and protect my memories. I purchased different lotions in different countries and different situations, using the lotions to cure homesickness, lovesickness, etc. with a safe and familiar brand of “aroma therapy.”
When I use a particular lotion the memories add up in layers, just as skin is constantly shed in layers. The lotion becomes part of my mental and physical make up – part of my very life. Is this obsessive? I don’t know, but like an olfactory diary the lotions somehow bring order and security to my life.
“Baby Lotion Collection”
(slide format: tin can with label)
At Soil Collections and Creations,
Bumbershoot Festival 2003, Seattle
Medium: Tin, baby lotions, ink, plastic
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