I just finished the project that I've been working on for the spring Gallery 96 show on 'collections'. It's aptly entitled 'A Virtual Wealth'. And oh my, is that up my alley. I was born a Collector
I think it was car coins & airplane coins from Jello that started it all. My brother got the hockey coins. I moved on to stamps, then salt & peppers, then owls, then bears & Santas ... the list goes on. And on. And on.
I am surrounded by a lot of STUFF that I have collected over a lifetime - a virtual wealth indeed. Sometimes though, especially after I've watched the show 'Hoarders', I start to thinking that I am teetering on the edge of TMS (Too Much Stuff)..
Hence, I got to thinking about how I am actually of two minds in regard to my penchant for collecting. One being that I am delighted & indeed, fed by all my passions. And the other, that the most important of my possessions can be carried in my being.
Thus, my Artist's Statement for this piece, entitled 'SUCH IS THE CASE...", reads as follows:
Me. One who collects and gathers with great love and passion, surrounding myself with wonderful Tidbits that fill my Life to overflowing.
There is a duality to it though. I am of two minds. One that says ‘Travel light – the less you carry the further you go.’ The other says, “More is More.”
Such is the case…
In my head I envision my world zen-like, calm, sparse, tranquil. I am stately, erect, centered. I am organic. The plerophory of treasures that I have amassed are carried only in my head and in my heart. Images and words. Stuff that is meaningful only to me. No undue attachment to material items. My head is clear. There is space for more. I am comfortable. I am content. I am Perfectly Happy.
In my reality, the other side is more Me. I am More. I take up more space. I need more space. I have assembled, accumulated, amassed. I am surrounded; engulfed with bits and pieces that I have gathered up over a lifetime. Stuff that is meaningful only to me. Stuff that pulls me in, excites me, delights me, amuses and entertains me. Inspires me. It has filled me up – my time, my space, my spirit, my Self. As the women who came before gathered for sustenance, for their very survival, I too gather for the sustenance of my imagination, my creativity. Indeed for the very survival of my Soul. I am comfortable. I am content. I am Perfectly Happy.
The piece is created in an old wicker case that opens up to reveal two different Collectors.
One side is the Real Me. Everything about her is Full. Her space, her face ... filled to the brim with Life and the love of everything in it.
In it there is a wonderful little framed vintage picture of 'Gathering' & things that I have made or gathered over the years. That is part of my TMS theraphy - actually using some of the important/cool/neat little things that I have collected over the years. And the little snowbabies that I painted up - I've had those for 15 years, waiting for the just the perfect time to use them.
The other side is who I sometimes think that I should be. That if I would rid myself of the accumulation, I would be more peaceful, more centered and serene.
This figure has a clear head. It has images & words rolled up in scrolls, the tiniest wee bits of sea glass ... mermaid tears actually, and some colourful glass beads as we all should have some sparkle. There is still space. When you move her around, the pieces shift and create a whole new kaleidescope. You can peer into it but you can't see it all.
Her only other possessions are carried in her heart - images of people and things that she loves.
I had great fun playing with a very old technique, that is new for me ... encaustic. In this case it is layers of wax over images and words.
The background is poppies, for Remembrance of course. Vintage sheet music shows lightly through the layers, as well as stamped script and faces.
There are also messages that I do indeed treasure - 44 year oldnotes from my Mom, Dad and brother, all of them gone now. And from my sister and my grandbabes.
My brother was 10 years old at the time - his says - "I love you and I think you are swell." My grandkids had no idea what that word meant.
My Mom's note says:
Choose not your friends by outward show,
Feathers float but pearls lie low.
Love, Mom MLW
all of life is over
And your Maker writes against your name,
It will matter not if you won or lost,
But how you played the game.
Your Dad, Harold F. Wellwood