Collections show us something about ourselves and the culture around us. My collections of objects, photographs, art, poems, stories and books offer me a chance to feel like a maker of worlds, ones that I may visit and enter into. They hold me just as I hold them. We mirror each other. I’ve moved around a lot and in each new place I’ve lived or travelled to, I’ve found things that have stories in them. Recently, I have been reflecting on what happens to our collections when we die. I realised that many things I collect have been items I found at flea markets or auctions or have made their way to me somehow. Most have been items passed on after a death. A box of love letters from a soldier in 1942. A suitcase filled with old super 8 films, documenting thirty years of holidays of the same family in the 1950’s in America. Once someone brought me boxes of photographs and collages by Charles Marsh, a man who died in 2000. Piecing his life together through his photographs, seeing what themes were important to him, helped shape my own practices. My investigations as an artist and writer are shaped by what I hunt for, what I find and collect. Pieces and parts of my collections appear in my films and stories and become the bricolage of another work of art, another life someone will find.
This is page shows part of my SIGN COLLECTION. As an American and British Citizen living in the UK, I find interesting distinctions in the way language is used in signage between the two countries. Something comes through about the character of a culture even in the humble and direct communication of a sign. There are also signs here from my travels to Iceland and the Azores.