One highlight of the first lockdown was answering a request on a local forum seeking help with a photographic project. Dylan Collard had taken some amazing photographs of the shop back in 2013 - I knew his work and I knew his project would be exciting.
Inspired by an old fascination with John Blackmoor’s Fragments Of History series Dylan started looking for collections of objects that told stories. "I used these objects to create backgrounds into which I placed the toy dog as a little embodiment of myself, the idea was to visually take the dog on an adventure into different worlds by placing it amongst items that have meaning to a person or business. The images felt like snapshots of our lives and felt like a way of shooting ‘portraits’ of people at a time when I couldn’t ask people to come and sit for me. So I asked people to lend me their collections, to box up their bits n bobs that they’ve saved, the things that might represent both their past and what they do now".
So I got to boxing up my bits - trinkets from holidays - found items that have a special place in my heart and home. My treasured Art Bin - I've had it with me since 1983 and for me symbolises a turning point in my life....the start of my creative journey, which led to meeting Ian.
I have a love for the enigmatic: - tromp l'oeil effects, A passion for Fornascetti developed in the late 80's with a trip to the Fornascetti Shop in Milan. Mexican artwork, Huichol art work - vibrant in colour rich in symbolism. Milagros - small metal religious charms. Little miracles - carried for protection and good luck. Many of the Mexican trinkets were picked up on an amazing trip to Mexico when I first met my husband Owen.
I have a huge collection of semi-precious stones and beads which feature in my jewellery making for map gift shop. All my crystals and beads are stored in a collection of wooden boxes with all the findings, wires and tools of the trade - tiny pliers and cutters.
I love of symbolism of imagery so many of the items I boxed up feature
suns & moons, hands, eyes , fish weirdly too. Hands are considered to symbolise charity, or that something "from the heart", they represent friendship, love and truth. Eyes - a gateway into the soul, a moral conscience and truth. All these symbols featured heavily in the early work of MAP (Decorative glass and china) with our collaborations with The Conran Shop, and many of the trinkets featured are gifts from Ian - he knows me well!
I love that Dylan picked out the eye as a theme for walking the dog picture - AND that the dreamy portrait image also features the eye & hands, I feel this so aptly connects me to the decorative & to the symbolism.
I have never liked the idea of a tattoo - but I really enjoyed the wonderful decorative body painting by Jess Cheetham - which has perhaps made me think again!
Thanks Dylan Collard Photography for including me in this project.
Here is the full final version.