Collected thoughts and objects
I have a fascination with the domestic environment immediately around me. The responsibility of it is so time consuming and yet the fine details of it become an obsession.
The patterns, wear and erosion found in daily life feel raw and tender, touching an inner personal nerve.
The links between wear and tear and the fulfilment of need and comfort are the things that memories are made of, ties with the past, like certain smells or colours.
These are constantly taking me back to my childhood.
Traces, nearly invisible, unnoticed reminders are intrinsically linked to emotions, sometimes a supporting strengthening feeling like strong fabric, but at others acute like a needle passing through ones memory.
Nurture and remembrance. For those who have loved and provided sustenance, our daily bread and Marge.
I have for a long time had an interest in discarded shopping lists
They show an intimacy, a glimpse of life in the items named, of the need to remember what we deem important yet no longer have.
There is something very touching about list making, the art of organisation, not wanting to forget or let down.
It seems unexpectedly intimate to be reading ‘shaving gel ‘ or ‘Complan’ on a list. More is sensed than just eggs or cabbage.
Our private indulgences and sympathy’s appear and are glimpsed with affection, dog treats, sweeties, and strawberry jam. Consumables are given character through a traditional intimacy in the naming, such Granny’s cake and Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire Puddings. A personal quality to the product is implied “like Auntie made”, and homage to our personal relationships is paid through the naming.
Flour lard and butter. And extra butter.
Rubbed to a fine bread crumb.
My Nans pastry was something I have not tasted since.
A soft bite. Not too fragile. Short, full of layers, and tasty.
Finished rows of tarts.
Tender flake and sticky bright content.
Not just one jam but several, boiled sweet assorted.
Treasure made in the afternoon with no one about.
Secret and on the rack already cooling.
I have made them myself.
My jam tarts are fine. Tasty. Eaten quick enough.
But not Nans.
The photograph, for a time, is a precious reminder. To lose it would be to lose the evidence of the memory attached.
Over the years connections fade, the faces become only traces of identity, the photographic proof of once loved people, but without memories, names and detail. They have lost true purpose and personal value.
Most of the photographs I have used have no connection to me. They have been bought and sold, their memories long gone, now only valued as a saleable curiosity.
I have grown fond of the faces. They have become familiar again.
I have spent time with their traces; they are re-known and again evoke emotion after all this time.
I started collecting my own hair earlier in the year not knowing why but feeling I should. I often collect things for a period of time just to see something en mass, to see how it accumulates and feels as an unusual bulk, watching it develop into something new.
Not all of the hair I have used is mine, some is donated by family and friend's. I have also used mohair.
My Grandmother always kept an Elastoplast tin of rings in her handbag.
As a child, long after she had grown old and frail I used to look at the tin, still with the rings inside, kept at the back of Mum's dressing table drawer.
The rings are now mine, but sadly I have no knowledge of what happened to the Elastoplast tin.
Not everyone sees things as I do.