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Object - Kate Phillips

Updated: Oct 23, 2022

When I see something discarded, unwanted, I am drawn to it. I pick it up and turn it over in my hands, feel the object with my fingertips, study it. This is listening. It's instinctual. The object’s story is a secret. I don’t need to know its past, or why it has been considered worthless enough to be thrown away, but I know it holds within it the memory of itself, and this can be discerned hepatically.

Its desire to tell its story to the careful listener is palpable.

These are the objects I collect. They are the genesis of my work, characters waiting in the wings. I am immured with them, and together we work patiently to tell a story. Layer upon layer we build, whether it's a miniature scene or diorama, a sculpture, bricolage, or an installation. This can be powerful storytelling.

So to work on Recollect is a real privilege. It is in a way a reversal of my usual practice as the starting point here is the story itself, or more precisely a memory, and the objects are gathered and worked on as metaphors of interpretation and instruments of emotional resonance, both personal and collective. They become identifiers. They both tell of the original memory and act as triggers for others.

But oh, to work with so many diverse materials, from barnacles to crucifixes to peanuts, from squirrel’s dreys in rucksacks to salt crystals growing on sleeves…

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