Project Garage products come from a starting point of rejection.
Before I tell you about that let me digress a little. Several years ago I did a project called “Beautiful Things” where I took little things which had been thrown away by people and through artistic care gave them a new status. Each thing was carefully photographed and digitally manipulated into a limited print. The objects were then placed in boxes. The artist Joseph Cornell called his boxed art works “Poetic Theaters” and that name fitted these pieces. Through the boxing and arranging the story was told about how valuable this rejected item now was. People could acquire a box but not through cash. Rather they could propose a new use for the box and if it was interesting enough they could have it. Few people proposed things, preferring to buy a print instead, simpler less commitment. One person did propose a use and that box went on to be the basis of piece of work for a whole class room of students who re-imagined it. One person took the box for a chip supper and it acquired a wooden fork, another pulled it all apart and represented ever bit, including blobs of glue in new boxes. So that was perhaps the start of my wondering about rejected objects. Yet maybe it was way back when I put my foot through my brushed cotton sheet and my Mum threw it away. It was practical to do so but I was sad. That object which had been so close, so comforting lying in land fill. I’ve always attributed a kind of consciousness to objects which I know they don’t have really.
So back to project garage. A large garage full of objects. Some donated, some grabbed from skips some left over little bits from other projects. An impossible mission to turn them all in lovely new things and to find them homes where they could be loved for a bit. I made jewelry, mirrors,signs, my son made the table where my laptop now rests. We made all sorts. A lucky few bits found new homes but most were lost when we had to move away. Now I find myself with a new garage and a new set of suppliers.
Yesterday I carried back two planks from a local skip, I pay a regular visit to the church bric a brac stall and my hand often hoovers over the bin before throwing off cuts in. At present we make earrings from left over mount board which have been popular and take unloved pottery and decorate it. I grab inspiration for the pottery from thrown away books, cards and similar places too. I love books where illustrations had to be correct as without photography they were the source of many people’s knowledge.
We hope that there will be enough time and enough people with similar sensibilities to find each piece a new home. A lady in my village the other day said that she doesn’t buy new as there is already enough stuff in the world. I agree perhaps we could demand nothing nothing new, dig no new resources from the earth just re-purpose, repair, re-love. Art allows one to try these theories with less jeopardy, to scale some of the bumps and showcase the results. For a long time my art has been about the systems and processes as much as the product. A new pile of effort has been put into this website to try and solve the biggest problem in this project, finding those new owners.