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The Art of Everyday Collecting

Cups

Collecting is an art of the everyday accessible to everyone. It all begins with a chance recognition, a desire to possess, to learn more and to live within the enchantment you created. Collecting makes every collector an artist who arranges and rearranges chosen objects and ideas to tell the story of their lives. 

 

There is treasure everywhere. But who is looking and how? Collecting is about desire, choice, amassing, order and storage. Individual objects become part of a collection over time with no one static understanding. Objects from across time and diverse backgrounds speak to each other and these conversations teach us about ourselves.

 

Sadly, stored collections lose meaning. Collected objects need heirs to desire them, to marvel once again at the luck of the find, the joy of possession and the thrill of placing a treasured object in a new order within a story of their own. The most distinguished aspect of any collection is its transmissibility. I hope you enjoy telling your own story with the objects you collect today. 

In October 2023 I explored another aspect of collection by taking part in The Northumberland Antique/Vintage Show and Sale a fundraiser geared toward building a new home for The Canadian Firefighters Museum collection. I wanted to revisit and eventually divest myself of collections I no longer displayed, as well talk to people about collecting outside of the context of a gallery but as part of a community event.

 

I spent weeks sorting and photographing vintage textiles, pictures, toys and household item and curated a display that told a story with my collections. I prepared a didactic panel (above) to invite conversation about collecting during the day long show. I heard many stories relating memories triggered by my objects and other stories suggesting new uses for old things. Categories of collection changed. I learned arcane details from avid collectors and shared my knowledge with others. At the end of the day I felt that I had given my collections new life and had learned a new way of interacting with people and collections.

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