“Heady Monster’” dives into the world of material history to recreate Campbell’s first strong memory – a fifth birthday at an amusement park north of Toronto, by recreating a favourite toy won that day – the “Heady Monster”. Rendered in crochet, it literally involves the weaving of fibres and the interconnection of different parts to create something whole. As Historians, we are called upon to portray heritage and history in ways that do not just convey facts and figures but that help people to understand the emotions, tensions, passions and other necessary sensations that add context to the decisions and events being presented.
“As an avid (yet mostly beginner) crocheter, my heart leapt with joy when I first saw this creation and the concept. I can certainly appreciate the complexity and ambition of reverse engineering a crochet pattern for a toy (particularly one made in different material). I wonder if there would be a means of literally weaving parts of these sensations into the new toy (ie reuse of fabric, although that would be destructive; I liked the idea of using scents even though it wasn’t possible given closures). Very personal, multilayered and joyful!” “the use of crotchet to explore childhood memories and also to recreate/reinvent a cherished toy is a great idea. It has echoes of the Shikinen Sengu ceremony in Japan, where a temple is demolished and rebuilt ever 20 years. Heather has paid close attention to the theme, and is hyper-aware of sensations at every stage (including the sounds and smells of the funfair), the word cloud and polaroids are a clever way of trying to get some of these themes across – when all we really want to do is pick up the cuddly monster and give it a cuddle” “. I loved reading the rationale behind all of the images and the word clouds. I also appreciated the inclusion of the great ideas that, giving current circumstances, were simply not possible. While not included in the final project, their inclusion in the paradata helps create a fuller experience of the project and what this meant to Heather. “
Thank you for sharing a tangible memory with us!