For many years now I have been collecting the contents from Christmas crackers, I know not why. They will probably end up in an art work like most stuff I collect, Magpie is my middle name. What I've always wondered is where would these items go if I didn't collect them, landfill, the Pacific plastic cloud, you only need a certain number of golfing tees in your life?
These Butterflies are briefly flying into my world and lighting up my lockdown experience.
A collection of colours.
Butterflies have long inspired artists with their mercurial nature and transformational lifecycle. Their very being facilitates creative interchange and metaphor. This is beautifully captured in the work of Mark Dickens. His use of ephemera and bold colour, in his mixed media works, highlights the ethereal idiosyncrasy of butterflies and his gorgeous world vision showcases their resilience in migratory paths. The inherent paradox of their perceived fragility with the ability to travel great distances, helps the isolated mind, through these imaginary and layered works; to travel with the butterflies on their incredible journeys.
Jess Nicholls. Feb 2021
Currently I am working with collected glass fragments. They arrive by post as a random assortment of leftover pieces from other artists' work.
I draw and paint moments onto these from my current film London Project which is similarly constructed from fragments. These are placed leaning in overlapped layered groups together.
They are constantly being added to , rearranged and looked at both during the day and at night.
'I have always collected in one form or another including childhood stamps, keyrings, Whimsies, vinyl records and art books. However, my most recent collection is my ancestors, gathering, so far, 7,517. Alongside 30,342 records and 1,806 photos that also reveal places, families and past occupations that I had no idea about. This began as a distraction (now more like an obsession) during lockdown March 2020 when I began building a family tree online. Since then discoveries include; A Great x 2 Grandfather in N.S.W. Australia previously lost to family for 3 generations; Black Country nail makers, from which the World Champion Stand Spring Jumper emerged; stone masons; monumental stone rubbers, grooms and coachmen; a Victorian magician; ship builders; agricultural labourers, an architect; a shoe manufacturer and finally a quirky link to the Bloomsbury Group.'
L to R clockwise Susan Haire PLG Tommy Seaward LG John Crossley RWS LG Tricia Gillman LG
Amongst my collection of art mostly made by friends and colleagues over the years, bought , given and swapped I have a small but precious collection of pieces by fellow London Group members. These have special significance to me due to my love of the group and the artists that make it one of Britain's finest art collectives. Art on our walls has been even more important during Covid lockdown especially those made by my London Group friends much missed during this time. I very much hope this collection will continue to grow !
L to R Bert Irvin OBE RA LG Jeff Dellow LG Mike Liggins LG(Hons) Martin Heron MRSS LG
Since the first weeks of the Pandemic I have litter picked on The Wormwood Scrubs, wild London at its best, but, with crowds discovering it, litter has become a vast collection of human debris. My litter pickers have grabbed and tweaked tons of litter. Why do well meaning, literate (litter-it)bipeds walk away from masks, picnic boxes, bottles, plastic wrappers, or poo in the woods leaving trails of soiled loo paper? Yep, i pick it up, or, my dog eats the tissue! Or leave pairs of underpants in the bushes? Or, hide a 12” knife dug in under a sumptuous flowering cherry tree? This one the police came to get for forensics.
Then I go home, wash thoroughly and draw in a tiny sketchbook from memory, the trees and the glorious moon rising.
These beautiful glass prisms form just a small part of our collection, of mostly mid-century Venetian glass. My wife and I have been collecting pieces of mostly Murano Glass for more than ten years now; always purchasing one or two pieces on our twice yearly visits to La Serenissima! I particularly like the delicate play of light on these prisms. Light of course plays an important role with all hand- made glassware. I would very much like to collaborate with the glass master Lino Tagliapietra, who was kind enough to allow me to assist him in his workshop for a day.
This is a tribute to Duchamp, Assemblage of things found and reflecting the desperation of a man trying to find one new aspect of the visual expression called ART nowadays.
Tim Pickup/Genetic Moo LG
Modern Art by Reiner Knizia
Since discovering Board Game Geek in 2007 I have been collecting board games, spending hundreds of hours and pounds each year on small boxes of wooden and plastic bits, dice and cards. The time I've spent playing these games is tiny relative to the time spent thinking about playing them, and I've not completely understood why. Thi Nguyen's book 'Games: Agency as Art' argues that games are a distinctive art form and their medium is agency. Interactive Art also deals in agency; in the art (what can the computer do) in the audience (what can they affect) and the system (what happens next). The game is revealed through the players. The art is revealed through the audience. And so the search for new shaped games continues.
Nicola Schauerman/Genetic Moo LG
I collect the sci-fi stories of Stanislaw Lem.
Beyond the curious hodgepodge of protagonists: Tichy, Pirx and the robots Trurl and Klapaucius, lies a deeper story - Lem's despair of humanity's relationship with nature, its inability to see beyond itself; to conceive of alternative ways to be in this and other worlds.
I’m taking a chance with this. If a collection is something more or less controllable-ownable then I’m not sure that planted trees count. As independent beings trees are beyond control. Having a life of their own they just struggle to get on with it. While the native stock are obviously great survivors many of the exotics I introduced as company simply gave up. When they do survive, however, the satisfaction is even greater. I’ll let the Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) speak for the rest. After twenty five years it flowered. Glorious! Here it is.
Mickey Mouse first appeared in my work in 1983 in a large painting called ‘US Mail’. Later it appeared in numerous works such as ‘Property’, ‘ Mogadishu’ ‘Dancing in Denver’ to name a few. I recently made a light box X-ray of Mickey Mouse.
In the early 80s, I read a book called ‘How to read Donald Duck’, it is about Walt Disney and American Imperialism. My work was and often is political.
Robert Coward and I have a large collection of old and new Mickeys acquired from a variety of sources. In my paintings he is my Nemesis, often reduced to a black shadow.
Ink Bottle (Francis Galton)
‘Ink Bottle (Francis Galton)’ was inspired by the UCL Galton Collection. Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911) was a half-cousin of Charles Darwin and a polymath who, as well as his many other discoveries in science, statistics and anthropology, pioneered fingerprint analysis. Archive research at the Galton Collection revealed that he often carried a fingerprint kit, comprising a small ink bottle, paper and other paraphernalia. It is conceivable that his own fingerprints would be present on the ink bottle in the kit. This work is a 1900’s ink bottle etched with a copy of Galton’s fingerprints.
The garden yields a treasure at every dig. Someone clearly had a wild party or more once upon a time and I collect the remnants. The worms have become involved and aid the quest, bringing more to the surface each day. This hoard has been photographed in various arrangements in different formats. No worms have been harmed in amassing this stash.
Anecdote Tombola, Incidental Assembly, South London Gallery, 2019. Photo Amanda Loomes
I have a loyalty to random, often broken, objects that have stories attached to them. As a consequence I have an unusual collection of souvenirs from places where I have worked and made films. In 2019, I was invited to take part in Incidental Assembly at South London Gallery, a study day considering the legacy of the Artist Placement Group. I took along my collection of objects and held a tombola. If a visitor pulled out a ticket ending with a five or zero, I told them a story associated with that particular object. It opened up some remarkable conversations.
Reflecting on a life. Detail of ‘Reflect7’ 2017. A collection of handmade clay beads. Each bead representing a week of my life - a repetitive process.
Most of my work comprises multiple identical objects helping to clarify the intention. Time in making is the essence.
Mother and the Matchsticks
Above the gas stove was a narrow ledge for spice jars, a box of matches and a ceramic pot. My mother was elderly and lived alone, in France. She had cooked food for many. Now, one match was enough. She invariably placed the used stick in the pot and seeing this mundane yet intimate gesture always tightened my heart. I asked her to collect and post the matchsticks to me in London each time she filled a pot.
That took months, which made this supply precious. The tumble of the journey disintegrated the combusted matchheads. The burnt matter acted as graphite powder and the wooden sticks looked like a drawing of themselves. With bits of fabric from her house I bandaged the matchsticks into little bundles.
They celebrated my mother’s daily pace but also measured her march towards death. They held the dense grief of my being absent as she grew frailer. They brought her the gift-wrapped message that life may have separated us but that I never stopped knowing and caring about her.
Exploring new possibilities of working with pre-used building materials and art supplies.
A collection of art and building tools was used in the making process. For example, a trowel was used to apply mortar; a paste I applied to the surface that I am most familiar with as I use it when working with my Dad in the building trade. A range of paint brushes were also used to add paint to the image, in the hope of providing a highly reflective, slick, contemporary look.
Title: Locating Contrasting Colours White + Black + Pink, 60 x 90 x 3.6 cm, 2021
Medium: Pencil, Oil pastel, Butyral resin, Cement, Building sand, Acrylic, Emulsion paint, Gloss paint, PVA Admixture Adhesive, Industrial gloss, Varnish on Canvas
‘a lot of things or people’
2020 & 2021 so far have not offered many of either, but what has been allowed has been cherished and celebrated.
A funeral in October 2020 allowed for a collected 30 people to gather to mark the life spent.
The sensation of being in the company of 29 whole other humans was powerful, disconcerting and redemptive. All I wanted to do was hold them tightly to me.
Instead I held 30 pieces of soft clay very tightly indeed, and they make up a new installation to be shown at Thelma Hulbert Gallery this year.
Part of my collection of colour mixes. Records type of paint, colour, manufacturer and sometimes proportions. No system, just putting the paint onto whatever bit of paper is to hand and then writing the information. Half the time when I look back I can’t read what I’ve written!
I’ve been collecting drawings and prints since I was at Art School . The first I bought was a print by Vuillard “ little study of a park ” pulled from a cancelled plate which made it affordable. The most recent was a Mary Potter drawing.
I am a serial hoarder/collector.
For me there seems to be a value in the things we interact with and so numerous bits n pieces get put aside for possible future display or use. It seldom happens.
For example a fine collection of shoes went to charity a couple of weeks ago, six trailer loads of useful cardboard went to the dump. Now that we are planning a house move it would have come in handy!
My current obsession is used teabags.
However, as this collection was gathering pace they were unceremoniously thrown in the compost bin.
No more collecting until I have a space where it will all be safe to collect the finest of dust.
This collection is a memoir.
They are small plaster casts which I have modelled and moulded for my relief paper and mixed media reliefs.
They are a menu of white forms, fragments, edges, shadows, and shapes on a plate at the top of my studio stairs.
A METAPHYSICAL VOCATION
In ‘LESS BECOMING MORE’
EndLESS OldLESS NewLESS NowLESS ;
SimultaneousLESS FreeLESS EffortLESS FormLESS ;
SpaceLESS TouchLESS TasteLESS SmellLESS ;
VisionLESS SoundLESS AestheticLESS CodeLESS;
CountLESS TimeLESS CurrentLESS NumerLESS ;
2,365,200,321 Seconds of ‘LESS Becoming MORE’ (or LESS).
Clive Burton March 2021
Both my parents are currently battling Covid, back home in Holland. It has affected them quite badly, and I’ve been feeling quite helpless and hopeless being so far away from them.
I’ve been making a collection of Delft Autobiographicals; small works on paper, childhood paintings based on photographs of family life in the 70s just outside of Amsterdam.
For me this has been a form of daily meditation, where I can travel home and be with them. Whilst painting I visualize entering the family home and spending some quality time with my parents. I do believe that my energy, released by the soul-painting process helps them on their healing journey!
A collection of discarded/found photos from many Victorian albums have been re-photographed, re-scaled and re-positioned.
Explores the status of Victorian photo studios.
The reverse of the photos and pages have been left blank to depict the void created by the demise of the analogue print services replaced by digital-technology. Retraction of the detachable-spine, allows the ‘codex’ to convert to a concertina.
Held in Yale Center for British Art, USA.
On the Same Page: Book Turner-JAGGED ART London ‘19
Society of Bookbinders International Conference & Competition ‘11
MCBA Prize USA submission in ‘09
Pushing Print in Margate UK ‘09
DAY TO DAY
This collection lives in my studio. I go for a walk every morning before the studio and have always picked up bits and pieces that catch my eye. There is something primitive, hunter-gatherer- forager about it but also it seems to be an embodiment of a desire for a moment-by-moment appreciation and openness to what experience may offer up. Picking things up, giving them value and bringing them back to the studio, (and often allowing this and that into the paintings,) makes a felt-sense connection between the world of the studio and chance and the everyday.
This collection exists only because of other peoples forgetfulness. Or generosity.
Or sometimes it seems it's due to someone hoping someone else will do something about it…
I seem drawn to ‘things’ left unattended in the street…
Children’s bicycles left propped against a wall. Old sofas discarded in the street.
A double mattress propped up in an alleyway.
Fridges, hoovers, heaters, cookers, TV’s, computers… left waiting…
I simply take a photograph of whatever it is, and, using the hashtag #lonely I then post the image on Twitter and Instagram. I have no idea how large my collection is now but I have been collecting for a number of years. It is a good collection as it doesn’t take up any space.
BOOK COLLECTION ON TOPIC OF CONSCIOUSNESS, ADVAITA NON-DUALITY
I have several collections of things, e.g. more than 30 Buddha’s, quite a lot of Fine Art pics which were acquired from the artists. Nah, unfortunately, not from Picasso, Miro, Chagall or Basquiat! The art purchases include a little subsection of erotica.
Also, I’ve a massive collection of Books on the topic of how to develop Intuition as a skill.
My favourite collection consists of books on the topic of CONSCIOUSNESS, ADVAITA and NON-DUALITY. One might say ‘spiritual’ books. The photo shows a small selection. If you can zoom into the photo you will see some great titles.
One of this selection seems not to belong. viz title HIGH PERFORMANCE HABITS. However, I don't need to change it, as on reflection, it serves very well to be there, as a title. This is because , in the topic, of non-duality, enquiring into the big question, "If I am not my ego, who am I?" is, in my opinion, and that of certain wise teachers, the Highest Performance Habit one could possibly have.
I have been collecting glasses for some time now. I’m interested in the way the structure reveals itself when I make a photogram, parts of the glass act like prisms, focusing the light and the ripples in the glass become visible. Glass is apparently a liquid and this is evident with old window panes where the glass is thicker at the bottom compared to the top. A couple of years ago we were doing a family ‘secret Santa’ and a relative was at a loss what to get me, so I said, “if you can’t think of anything, get me a selection of glasses from a charity shop.” I got a Jiffy bag full of spectacles!
Charlotte C Mortensson LG
This painting by Evadney Cruickshank is a favourite piece in my collection of Jamaican Intuitive Art. It depicts a state funeral, and I’m entranced by its colours and by the strange composition. My studio is filled with paintings and sculptures collected during working trips that I have made to Jamaica since 2006. I love having their palpable energy surrounding me.
Jamaican Intuitive Art is the official term used to describe the art produced by the country’s practitioners whose work does not follow Western traditions but instead reaches to African lineages. Disparaged during colonial times, it played a crucial role in nation-building after Independence in 1962.
My own photographic practice is intertwined with this work. My thoughts about light, colour and composition have shifted and I have gained a deeper sense of how the country’s history has moulded the architecture that I photograph.
The collection has been exhibited at the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution, the Jamaican High Commission in London, De Queeste Art in Belgium and Kunsthaeusen Herrliberg, Switzerland. It has also been featured in Raw Vision magazine.