When I began creating tapestries from flotsam gathered on the British coastline, it was an attempt to represent our throwaway culture by weaving together the narratives of orphaned objects.
Recently, whilst selecting flotsam relics to be included in a Cabinet of Curiosity for my exhibition at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, I realised that the display had a dual message – on the surface it was an informative exhibit of well-travelled beachcombing finds, but the assemblage of objects became evocative signifiers for my own tastes, experiences and memories.
In the gallery as on the beach, my role as curator divulges as much about me as the society I am documenting. We are all collectors to a greater or lesser extent, and the unspoken curatorial decisions made throughout life reveal much about a person’s taste, sentimentality and class. It is this bond with objects that I seek to explore, in particular the very personal relationship we can enjoy with a commodity, set against the dispassionate backdrop of global trade.
By stripping back my own creative process to the point of collection or rejection, I hope to analyse the very evocative and personal relationships we share with objects, and how context can have a profound impact on their interpretation.