My Mum’s favourite singer is Ella Fitzgerald, and I thought this could be a good way of linking her to her soon to be born granddaughter in 2009. I suggested to my wife the name Ella-May, as my Mum’s middle name is May. And so that was that. We now have a daughter called Stella-May.
I haven’t exactly given it the years and months I spent wondering what any daughter of mine might end up being called, but I have put some energy into naming my graduating work. I’ve got folders full of bits of articles, quotes and misspellings which I thought might come in handy. I’ve used babel fish more times that I care to remember to (badly) translate into English comments which friends from Korea and Yemen have made on Facebook. Those things might have to be saved for the T-shirt slogan empire I won’t be setting up any time soon though, because I think I have a winner.
One of the things I remember as a child is being in a car with my Dad on longish journeys. You knew they were long because we’d slowly lose the signal of the radio station we were following (generally some manner of sports report) The signal would come in and out, fighting the inevitable before the radio itself got turned off and we returned to comfortable silence, or just changed to another frequency. Turns out the fading of signals has a name, and it’s ‘analog rolloff.’ Analog rolloff doesn’t occur with digital signals, what occurs instead is an abrupt loss of information, a jarring, far less relaxing experience. So I’ve decided to name my work which is made up of one image hacked into many pieces and re ordered into the form of the chemical structure of a variety of anti-depressants after this effect. Digital Cliff it is, then, as it contains, for me at least, connotations of disorientation and danger.
And I’ve grown to love the name Stella-May.