Winifred Wakerly Memory Map - 1973

48 x 168 inches, diptych

Ink and wood blocks mounted on wood, adhesive, metal fasteners, photographs and photostat text.
Work in progress at John Gibson Gallery, New York.
Private Collection, New York

Winifred Wakerely, 95, recalled the town of Rome, New York, in the late 1980’s.

The 1973 September/October exhibition at John Gibson Gallery was a month-long work in progress, open studio, and performance. Every Saturday, an elderly person was invited to join the artist in the gallery to recall her or his childhood hometown. Under the directions of each participant, Welch interpreted these accounts with drawings made on an opaque projector and large maps created with wood blocks, ink and collages. The drawings were in turn collected and hung on the gallery walls while the maps laid on the floor for the duration of the exhibition. Photographs, drawings and texts from the interviews were later combined with the maps to become singular wall pieces.

Review(s) on Winifred Wakerly Memory Map, 1973

…The low-key, plain-spoken manner of Welch’s art catches us off-guard, for the work is unusually evocative. Welch has noted that “the events which made these places memorable aren’t visible”. But it is impossible not to sense them. In this, his pieces function a bit like old photographs: they establish a fleeting, fragmentary contact with a by-gone time and place. They evoke a desire to know more, to have the complete picture and the whole story, and a sense of loss that this knowledge can never be retrieved; only sketchily mapped.
Roberta Smith, “4 Artists and the Map”, exhibition catalogue, Spencer Museum of Art, 1981