Stacks Image 3
Stacks Image 211
Stacks Image 185
Stacks Image 209

Clearing Inherited Trauma

Stacks Image 242

Transforming epigenetics

Research Question: Can creative art-making heal our epigenetic inheritance?

Epigenetics and Beyond

The latest breakthrough research in cell biology shows that our genes and DNA are activated and influenced by signals from outside the cell membrane. This pioneering research in the field of vibrational medicine is known as the science of epigenetics. Epigenetics studies show how forces operating outside the DNA sequence, including extracellular, environmental and energetic influences affect the development, functioning and evolution of biological systems. The science of epigenetics lies in tracing the signal outside the cell back to its origins. It looks for the energy flow that causes the DNA blueprint to activate a particular pattern, the driving force behind the way our DNA activates and expresses itself. “Epi” implies traits that are above, in addition to, or on top of the cell membrane. Therefore epigenetics means control or influence of DNA from above or outside the gene. This is where many people believe, and research shows, the creative vibrational energy that flows when engaged in the process of making art, can change your life. In this photographic study I am working on photographs and historic evidence from my family history which may have caused generations of trauma.

The photo above is my grandmother who was widowed with three young children. My grandparents moved to London for work and when London was bombed during "The Blitz" they returned to Scotland where my grandfather had to take a job in the local coal mine. He was killed one year later in a tragic mining accident. His wages were abruptly discontinued on the afternoon of his death and my grandmother was offered a job in the canteen as a way to support her family. In contrast to the attitude of the mining employers, the close knit mining community helped to pay for his burial, unfortunately she could not afford a memorial stone for him. My grandmother was a strong woman whose life was devastated by losing her husband whom she loved dearly. The family suffered great loss and the children never knew the great quality of man their father was, as no one spoke of the tragedy. Life went on. Years later in 1994 a memorial was erected in Fallin for all of the miners who tragically lost their lives.

Stacks Image 221
My journey back to Scotland started in 2010 when I returned to scatter my father's ashes at the Stirling Bridge. My grandmother had caught him and his friends walking dangerously close to the edge of the bridge and she threatened to throw him in if he ever did it again. So one of my dad's last requests was to make the bridge his final resting place; One year later my mother and I returned to live in Stirling, and the research and healing began.
Stacks Image 187


Case Study: My life scars and ancestral epigenetic imprints

Photography has been my way of understanding and processing experience. Creativity has healed me in many ways. For my next project I need the documented research to take my findings further and that is the primary focus of this page.

(probable causes of inherited family trauma)

Grandfather tragically killed, grandmother struggled to raise my mother and her other two children on her own. Great-grandfather died tragically and buried in the trenches in WW1, grandmother raised without a father. Cousin drowned aged five years when my mother was pregnant with me. My father had generations of alcohol addiction in his family which adversely impacted the entire family. Research is ongoing.

Imprint clearing: It's all in the process

The healing aspect of working on images of ourselves or our family is a personal process that effects everyone differently. I have worked on this image by turning it into black and white, played around with materials and colours until I started to like it. It's hard to explain with words; this is an exercise you need to experience. While working on this image I did find a compassionate feeling for my 11 years old self who looked so sad.

"I was told I was sensitive"
This is a portrait of me when I was 11 years old..

Stacks Image 179

I think this portrait is a good representation as it took quite a while for the artist
to capture and I feel she portrayed my emotions well, or that's how I remember it felt.

The eyes tell the tale..

Stacks Image 175
Stacks Image 191

The healing is in the process of creating.

Grandfather killed in a mining accident at 38 years of age; left a wife and 3 children.

Stacks Image 124
Stacks Image 263
INQUIRY AT STIRLING SHERIFF COURT TO-DAY INTO THE CIRCUMSTANCES SURROUNDING THE DEATH OF WILLIAM KERR (38), WHO LOST HIS LIFE WHILE ENGAGED AT HIS WORK IN No. 4 PIT, POLMAISE COLLIERY, FALLIN, ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON, DECEMBER 7 1941.  KERR, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED, PLAYED FOR A FEW SEASONS AS GOALKEEPER WITH KING’S PARK F.C.
 
THE EVIDENCE, WHICH WAS BRIEF, SHOWED THAT KERR AND OTHER WORKMEN WERE CLEARING AWAY DEBRIS AFTER SHOTS HAD BEEN FIRED IN THE SECTION.  THERE WAS A CRACK IN THE ROOF, THE FIREMAN STATED THAT IT WAS WELL SUPPORTED AND HE DID NOT CONSIDER ANY DANGER WOULD COME FROM THAT SOURCE.  A STONE, WEIGHING 30 CWTS., CAME AWAY FROM THE ROOF AND FELL ON THE BACK OF KERR’S HEAD.  HE WAS PINNED TO THE GROUND AND AFTER BEING EXTRICATED WAS FOUND TO BE DEAD.  DEATH WAS DUE TO A FRACTURED SKULL.
7 December 1941
Miner Killed by Falling Stone: William Douglas Cockburn Kerr (38), brusher, 85 Fourth Block, Fallin, near Stirling, a former King’s Park goalkeeper, was killed by a fall of stone at Polmaise Colliery last night. Kerr, until a year ago, was employed in England, but when he and his family were bombed out of their home they retuned to Fallin. He is survived by a wife and three children.

KERR, WILLIAM DOUGLAS COCKBURN. (PLAYER) – BORN OCT 23 1903 AT WALLACE ROW, COWIE, HIS PARENTS BEING GEORGE KERR AND MAGGIE HEPBURN.  WILLIAM MARRIED JESSIE RAE WATRET (24) IN BANNOCKBURN DEC 22 1933.  HE DIED IN A PIT ACCIDENT AT FALLIN ON DEC 7 1941 FROM A FRACTURED SKULL AGED ONLY 38 YEARS.  THEY ARE BURIED IN BANNOCKBURN CEMETERY SECTION B15 – LAIR 11.
William Kerr’s first game for Kings Park was at home to Dumbarton on 8th February 1930 and he played in the next ten league games that season before Arnott, who may been injured, returned for the last two.
In season 1930-31 he played in all 38 league matches and the Stirlingshire cup and Scottish cup matches.  The following season he played in 21 league matches three Stirlingshire cup matches, three Scottish Cup matches and a Stirlingshire Consolation Cup match.  He didn’t appear for Kings Park in the following season.
 The 24
th of November Stirling Observer  featured him in their series of cartons by Fitz under the heading Prominent Stirling Footballer with the caption KERR, the King’s Park Goalkeeper, formerly of Fallin Violet.
Stacks Image 101
Stacks Image 118
Stacks Image 97


WW1 Great-Grandfather died in the trenches left wife and 2 children

Stacks Image 74
My grandmother Mary and her Dad. Mary never knew her Dad as he went to war when she was just a baby. I placed these two pictures together to represent the sadness my grandmother must have felt and the pride soldiers felt being able to protect their loved ones. Matthew Brown was left in the trenches in Iraq.
Stacks Image 69
1916
The 2nd Battalion was withdrawn from France for operations against the Turks in Mesopotamia for the attempted relief of Kut-el-Amara. Such was the urgency to get forward that the advance was made without proper preparation and heavy casualties were incurred. The losses at Shaikh Sa'ad were so heavy that the Battalion had to be merged temporarily with another Highland battalion which had suffered similarly. This year also saw the 10th Battalion taking part in operations in the Balkans. On the Western Front, 1916 was dominated by the Battle of the Somme. Five battalions of the Regiment were involved with particularly fierce actions at Contalmaison, The year ended with the extremely hard fought battle at Beaumont-Hamel with the 6th and 7th Battalions particularly distinguishing themselves.
Stacks Image 67

Grizzly look at the daily suffering the soldiers lived with…
(Diary of Lieutenant Henry Gallup, 20 April 1916)


"I can't tell you how beastly it is to make your breakfast off a plate of indifferent horse or mule: no tea and dinner, instead roast or minced horse and the balance of your piece of bread.. I simply long for a piece of chocolate or a tinned apple pudding… It is extraordinary how the idea of food absolutely obsesses one when you can't get any… Our aeroplanes were boring harder than ever dropping sacks of grain, parcels of chocolate, anything to enable us to carry on for a few extra days…People were getting weaker and there was a deal of sickness, especially among the Indians who had of course brought a great deal of it on themselves by refusing to eat horseflesh until the last few days; one seldom went into the town without seeing several readers being brought forth on stretchers for burial from one of the hospitals..

Letter informing family of death: " He seems to have been looking over the parapet and kept his head up too long. He was shot in the head and killed on the spot falling back into the trench "quite dead" I buried him that night in the trenches"
Stacks Image 159
Stacks Image 155

Just the beginning of this project.. it may take a while.

There was the Door to which I found no key: There was the Veil through which I could not see: Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee, there was-and then no more of Thee and Me (Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)