I have a mending basket much like millions of other people. It is filled with thread, needles, and all sorts of items which can be used for sewing and repairing. The catch with my basket is that I also keep all sorts of useless items that just don’t seem to belong. My basket is like a strange episode of Bagpuss in that it provides a refuge for lost and alienated items in need of a home.
In my tangle of old rubbish I have three different sets of pliers, half a set of allen keys, various adhesives, half a shoelace, sequins, split pins, and some loose nuts and bolts from various old cameras. There are pieces of a broken Kodak Brownie too, some green velvet ribbon, and an old brown envelope labelled “Declan” which contains several coloured camera filters. I have no idea who Declan is and I have no idea how most of these things ended up in my basket or for how long they’ve been there.
I’m not a hoarder of stuff by any stretch of the imagination but I have always known that I cannot throw these things away. They have their place in a time which has not yet come.
Yesterday I found myself creating an unusual collage for a client which has meant I’ve disengaged my brain and opened up my work basket. The glues and allen keys have already found their destiny. Declan’s envelope is now empty. The miscellaneous bolts are used and the Brownie parts are embedded in a new artwork. I’ve steered away from haberdashery and have plummeted into ironmongery. To let go of the usual methodical way of creating collage has been strangely liberating. The alien and lost items of the basket are finally coming into their own.
This collage will be a true basket case. The results will be revealed early in 2015.