Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Moving and Making

The process of clearing out all my junk (precious and lovely as it is) in preparation for moving house has led me to think about materiality. Things can be beautiful, transfixing and hold associations and memories but at the end of the day they are just things and I think most of us (me especially) have too many of them.

It might be an odd connection to make but I was looking at antique/vintage wardrobes on Ebay and realised that the fixtures and spaces inside them just wouldn't hold anywhere near all my clothes. I am sure a lot of other people would be the same. I was wondering why our ancestors had so much less? Is it the cost of things that has made them so consumable and therefore desirable? Or is it that there is so much more choice; more stuff to want?

I know that is all another big debate, but it made me think about the things I make; when I make something what future does it have, what are my intentions and why have I put it into the world?

Getting rid of things is a big burden but making them (or generating a demand for them) is an even greater responsibility. Perhaps I should be making things that are intentionally temporary?


  1. I think that the price and quality of things available to us today are definitely some of the reasons we own more. Things in the past were made to last, and also they were taken care of. Today our belongings are all too readily and easily disposed of. I do have an old wardrobe, very lovely it is too and has no chance of falling apart any time soon. True - it doesn't hold that much - but I wouldn't swap it for a high street find. If you need to find a home for anything - let me know - I can add it to my stash :) x

  2. The issues you raise are ones that often concern me in relation to my work. Making things that are ephemeral is certainly one approach. I heard Andy Goldsworthy talk a few years ago and I like the way that he creates the work but then the recording of that initial work through photography becomes the work as the original disintegrates. I suppose the way I have reconciled my work so far with these concerns it to do things in as sustainable way as is possible so that even if the artwork is going to be cluttering up somewhere for a fairly long time its footprint is minimal! The other thing I bear in mind is that the actual process that is involved in making the work (in terms of the thought processes, the action of creativity and the personal satisfaction) is as important, if not more so, than the work itself.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...