Chambers matched his mother's 45rpm records with the family photographs to create assemblages by using the hole spaces of the records to frame the images. He eventually arrived at a satisfactory combination, incorporating forty-five 45rpm records with images and a portion of each song onto an audio cassette to be used as a part of the exhibition. He faded-in/faded-out the songs and looped them for continuous play and in order with the wall display of the photo/record assemblages.
The photographs of his Mother were sequenced according to the chronology of her life, which spanned almost 60 years. When the piece is viewed along with the songs, the sound stimulus pulls the viewer from record to record (1 - 45) and this process has some interesting points: the maturation process of his Mother is seen; the man who came into her life and eventually became her husband and his Father is seen; the maturation process of her only child (him) is seen; the change in hair and fashion styles is seen; the change in automobile models is seen; and various locales throughout the United States are seen. This project (and its success) is the high point of his visual arts career for the simple reason that it involves and perpetuates his Mother's existence.
|The above installation is at Gallery One, Providence, Rhode Island, April, 1990. Chambers' mother's RCA 45rpm record player is seen as the centerpiece and source for the sound stimulus. The assemblages are seen as a part of the surround or 360-degree approach to encompass the viewer. Chambers is seen standing near his mother's record player in the top-left photo.|
|News coverage: Lifebeat - Putting Mama On The Record, Providence Journal Bulletin (April20, 1990), Providence, Rhode Island: "In a show that opens today at Gallery One, the Texas-born artist bares a more personal, less public side of himself. The result is a moving tribute to his own mother that Chambers hopes will stir memories and emotions in everyone."|
|Exhibition catalogue (ISBN #0-932706-20-7, 1992): Parents, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio: "Like myself, artists Tom Chambers and Carrie Mae Weems can find themselves unexpectantly reliving their childhoods by the chance encounter with a 1930s record hit or the sweet chocolate-like aroma of fresh-brewed coffee." (Ron Geibert, Curator, Wright State University)|