A memory changes whenever it is remembered, and its revision becomes a new truth.

The truth is I Will Survive isn’t the truth, but maybe it is. The action of exploiting memories for the purpose of storytelling is often done without conscious thought. Memories when created, are subjective to their beholder and when recited, are adjusted according to their audience.

Recalling memories formed in my childhood and ruminating on these stories in adulthood, I can’t help but dissect my memory’s in uences and in uencers, and what roles my Aboriginal and migrant parents and grandparents played in feeding lessons and myths into my subconscious.

I can tell you that when I was a child in these moments, this was my honest truth. Now that I’m older, I’m sure it was the truth, but then again, I cannot be sure. I have been taunted and haunted by ghosts, spirits, and the paranormal. Maybe I misplaced the noises and voices, and my mind planted a memory decorated and exaggerated, ampli ed by fright. But maybe not.

I have heard the growls, howls, and snarls of predators watching, waiting, ready to attack. Maybe I was simply spooked by a trusted elder with a ‘did you hear that Hayley?’ and ‘did you see it!?’ embedding awareness and alarm to keep me from straying too far from the pack. But again, maybe not.

I have confronted and endured such unruly terrains that are naturally ready to sweep me away with the blink of an eye. Maybe it was my ancestors guiding my next footsteps towards safety and survival, deeply interconnected to my existence while presenting as luck. But then again, maybe not.

Through my predecessor’s gifts of warnings of danger and instructions to keep safe, I have ducked and dodged the deadly and out-of-this-world.

Considering the subjectively constructive nature of memory-making, I’m sure my recollections have loosened and shifted over time, each retelling reshaping their truths, once overlooked moments, and at times embellished.

The truth is, I Will Survive is the truth, but also maybe it isn’t.

Hayley Millar Baker |
I Will Survive 1
inkjet print on Canson Baryta
93 x 70 cm
edition of 8 + 2AP
$7,000 unframed
$7,500 framed
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