Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Objects with stories

Jugs and glass:
from the objects with stories series
I once read about a newly-retired couple who disposed of everything they owned when they moved into a brand new apartment. The pictured apartment was one of those slick minimalist ones where anything 'old' might well have looked out of place, not that there was anywhere you could put objects anyway, even if you'd had them.

The article has stuck in my memory because it seemed as if they had disposed of their memories and I wondered if they (or one of them) might regret their decision. Then again, I have friends who lead minimalist lifestyles with no discernible negative effect.

I have never collected ornaments (too much dusting) but despite myself I have many memory laden objects. I didn't really notice until I moved to my new home three years ago and realised that the things that came with me all had stories. Objects without stories had been jettisoned along the way.

After my Mothers death in October 2013 I painted a colourful cup and saucer and a glass squirrel from her home. I think it was my way of dealing with the bereavement.  This 'objects with stories' series then extended itself to other things and yesterday I put some of the paintings from this series  online, together with the stories of the objects in the paintings.

Perhaps that couple I read about did store some precious pieces in one of the cupboards in their flash new apartment in case they ever wanted to take a peek into their own history. I hope so as I know how much I appreciate using things that remind me of their givers or of their previous owners.


Liz said...

So interesting. In her final years my mother had her small place chocker with bits and pieces all given to her by people and even an entire coffee table covered in cards that she had received and particularly liked, either the card or the person who had sent it, I couldn't quite tell! I think trying to de-clutter had got beyond her because she had always been a minimalist by nature. I think too she was living in the past a lot so being surrounded by things she'd been given was comforting. You are fortunate you can do paintings of your bits and pieces which will always take up less room than the originals!

Elizabeth said...

Liz, I can relate to your mother and her table of cards! I wish my paintings did take up less room than the objects, but I am not sure they do. Perhaps I should use watercolours not acrylic/oils!