Amongst other things, I am a collector, a hoarder, a messy person. A very, very, very messy person. I know this because my husband tells me regularly, whilst he’s following me around, picking up shoes, underwear, banana skins, orange peel, dirty cups, scraps of paper, lids off pens……I know this but I never really think about it.
I’m an artist and a photographer, so I notice things all the time: the way the light falls, the colour of a shirt or a fence panel, a handsome profile, the shadow made by a chair leg. Details, so many details. When I’m out, cameras banging against my body, finger poised over the shutter, my eyes are constantly flickering from side to side, finding the unusual, the odd angle, the strange activity. Indoors, I notice the way the shadows fall, how the sunset reflects on my wooden desk, my grandson’s mouth as he tells me a story, the line of my granddaughters back as she arches into a tantrum.
What I don’t notice is the clutter.
Having recently read an article in defence and praise of clutter, I had the sudden urge to do a tour of my house and not just look, but actually see what was clogging up every shelf, every corner, every cupboard. I would photograph them all. The only rules would be that I wouldn’t move or rearrange anything to make a better shot; and I wouldn’t edit the images. Every item would be recorded exactly as and where it was.
I noticed things I’d walked past twenty times a day without a glance, I thought about the objects I was seeing. They had stories attached. Some took me back years, some weeks or days, but as I excitedly continued to snap each and every one, I realised I wasn’t just finding clutter, I was finding myself. These obscure items are part of my history, and part of what makes me ME.
Writing this post, and uploading the images, I realise this isn’t a blog that can be done in one sitting. There are too many items, too many memories, so much more of me to find.