The first person I spoke to on Saturday was Carol, who saw a kindred spirit in Tomoko. She loved the installations and said that she relished collecting, so much so that apart from a small area on the floor where she sleeps on a layer of sponge, she has given over her bedroom to storing objects. At some point she will put it all in order and use it to make things. “I don’t call it junk, I call it STUFF!”. Interestingly, she has an ordered, tidy kitchen where she doesn’t like clutter. When her daughters go to college this year she intends to expand into their bedrooms…

It gives me great pleasure that my stash of wrapped objects is diminishing. I noticed that everyone paused a little or shook the parcels before choosing, rather like children at a lucky dip. Fiona wouldn’t be drawn into the game though; she said she had enough of her own rubbish at home. Clearing fifty years worth of books in her parent’s home, loft, garage and outhouse had cured her of visiting junk shops and buying bits and pieces. She said that seeing so many stacks of rotting books had left a lasting impression.

Ruth took part though and was pleased with her choice; her daughter less so. Ruth was now the owner of some small painted paper squares, whilst her daughter had the bits of plastic and netting that I used to make the painted squares. These for me are more useful than the discarded little paintings. She, like many of us, keeps things out of guilt, nostalgia, for kudos, because of the potential for usefulness and though we didn’t exchange objects, she did give me the best story of the day. She told me of a friend who has kept a beautiful oak door just in case the house he should move to doesn’t have a front door!

Posted by Ryan Coleman on Monday 6 September 2010