The open studios on Thursdays and each second Saturday of the month have come into their own now and more than ever, I am amazed by my (incidental) facilitating role for people’s stories about objects.
Object lessons mostly begin with a few comments here and there about my work, the found objects, and craftsmanship, and it then leads to people sharing all manner of stories about keepsakes, cultural artefacts, repairs, and interpretations.*
Returning to collect a frame that I had left to set inside a window this week I discover a visitor has used it as a plinth for one of multiple casts left on the stairwell.
We all see power in objects, be it sentimental value or cultural worth, and we want to talk about them – I want to hear them. Each time I talk about these kind of objects with strangers, or friends, I feel as if I should do something with this information – the way it’s recounted is subjective and unique to each story teller: one object can mean an infinite number of things to different people.
I think of a museum full of artefacts which don’t come with information panels, or perhaps are accompanied by several interpretations for the viewer to pick from.
Needless to say, I have been collecting the stories of objects – jotting them down in my notebook and thinking about how I can weave this into some sort of response to the contemporary role of Valle Crucis and my place in it. More on that later.
Objects aside. I spent a very pleasant 15 minutes roaming the grounds this week on the hunt for wild violets at the bequest of local textile artist Ticky Lowe. (Have now been informed that these are speedwells?) Ticky has created a deconstructed collection of wild flowers local to Llangollen for an exhibition at Plas Newydd, details here.
*Sometimes, I seem to end up talking to people/visitors about objects when I am not in my studio and I haven’t even mentioned my work yet, I don’t know how that happens. Must have it written on my face.