Collecting. What do you like to Collect? Collecting can become so addictive, especially for an artist. My found objects and things are the inspiration and starting point for most of my artwork and ideas. When I see something, it can trigger off an instant idea and give me a vision to work with. I think this is why I love museums, as display and arranging objects are an important part of my sculptural and photographic work.
I have been collecting since I was born. I used to hide stuff under my bed in boxes as a child. As an adult, I’m still putting stuff into boxes, plastic bags and other strange things. I view my collections as arrangements. They are all art installations scattered around my place, as well as, material for use in my arts projects
Walking through the streets to the local shop I always come home with something foot trodden. A piece of paper, packaging, a bright piece of plastic, glass all, will be used in my art, eventually.
When I travel overseas (much to the sometimes embarrassment to friends and family) I pick up off the ground, bottle tops, lolly papers, wires bright bits of plastic, even if an item might disturb me, I’ll bring it home. On a tour once, in Europe the whole busload of passengers collected bottle tops for me.
My stuff may brood for years in a dark space or cupboard, till I come across it again, sending me off on another project.
On my last trip to France, I came home with 15 kilo of junk. I collected baguette bags, string, stones, free ad cards, labels from food items, torn posters, books and papers from a bin.
I also, collect vintage photographs. They tell stories of people and places, I’ll never know about, so, I make my own narrative.
Scientific stuff, equations, wire, tin, bones, animal skeletons, fur, hair, watches, old mobile covers, old shuttlecocks, vintage buttons, eye glasses, shriveled things, found numbers and fonts from keyboards.
Magazines and advertising, boxes, packaging, all sorts paper, vintage clothes, fabrics, wall papers, shells, vintage items and china, driftwood, snow-globes, toys, children’s books and so much more
I go to op shops, city streets, airports, underground spaces, beaches, garage sales, friends houses and sometimes, find stuff on EBay. Part of the fun and attraction for me is, the actual finding of discarded material that has been thrown away. I will recycle it into something else or, just show it’s beauty, as it is.
Collections of things are extremely important, for future generations too. 100’s of years from now, someone may come across my piece of fabric, wallpaper ,lolly paper, box ,bone etc. that will give them information on how we lived in our time, in our place.
Collections are also portraits of those who love to glean…..
Check out Andy Warhol’s boxes of stuff he collected over his life time
“Warhol Time Capsules”