When I was 7 years old I won a set of plastic cups for the best entry in a Vegetable Animal competition at a church fete. If I remember correctly, my potato man sculpture was the only entry in its category. This was the pinnacle of my career in the creative arts. I had no joy at the age of 10 with a lace an paper collage of a fountain and I displayed no natural talent for drawing, painting or modelling. Although I knew how to sew, I was never adept at constructing wearable garments and while I love to knit, I find it safest to confine myself to colourful squares. Creating something out of nothing, using the raw materials of the artist or craftsperson, is not my forte.
Even so, I have found a way to satisfy the creative urge. What I like to do, and have more success at, is creating something out of something else. Whether its a scene that can be photographed or a theme to write about, it all begins with the recognition of the potential of something that already exists. Its about perceiving the special qualities of the subject and then capturing them in an individual way so that they can be re-presented from a fresh perspective. It is also about how things are arranged in relation to each other, creating an interesting juxtaposition or contrast. The magic is in the transformation that takes place, so that the original subject is enhanced by the process.
In photography I love finding intriguing subjects with interesting colours, shapes and textures. I enjoy the process of framing, cropping, and manipulating the image to emphasise what is already there. In writing I like observing myself and life around me, and picking up on the essence of what is going on.
I have a number of projects underway and I can see this thread of perceiving and transforming running through all of them. When I think about professional organising, I am not focussed on making people be organised, I am thinking about sculpting the physical living environment into a comfortable home by taking away the things that are not contributing to the person’s quality of life. Even when it comes to selling my excess things on eBay, I enjoy identifying things that I think will appeal to other people, creating attractive groupings, and presenting them in a way that people will enjoy.
I find it helpful to recognise this theme running through my projects, because I allows me to see a unity in what appears to be a diverse range of activities. Perceiving the nature of things in a unique way and sharing that vision is the task of people who create. From what I know of my readers, many of you share that intuitive eye, and interest in presenting your own perspective.
I am pleased to say that I still have the plastic cups which I won in 1967. They make great dice shakers when playing board games. I think I have done the right thing in keeping them, as they are probably now chic retro object d’art.