Sunday, 24 August 2014

To pick up or not to pick up?

People often ask why I pick up something and not another thing. I guess that's something I don't exactly know the answer to, but the decision I make in that moment of seeing something on the street and bothering to stoop down is obviously a crucial one. I'm very selective with what I pick up. This may depend on what mood I'm in, whether I am able to stop, how covered in mud that thing is... While I was in Cork recently with Martin Green, I found an interesting strip of rubber. I picked it up and as I was trying to get some of the mud off it (quite yucky) I dropped it. Where did it land? In a dog poo. So that's definitely where I draw the line. 

I am drawn to toys, plastics, colourful things, interesting shapes, objects which bear traces of peoples' lives - marked, worn, used. They may be tragic, comic, peculiar. It fascinates me when items have been changed by their environment - (perhaps flattened by cars or weather worn) and the objects become sculptural beyond their original designs. Another interest for me is to build up a collection of like items. Finding similar things and presenting them in a set or series brings a different meaning and 'weight' to them; they gain greater significance together.

These are disregarded things - lost or thrown away, seen as worthless. To pick these things up and present them within a new context and with a new value is a redemptive act. 

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