I went to Spain last summer. We got shown around a small village called Ilora and taken to see the cemetery there. On one mans grave there was a cabinet which fascinated me and has stayed with me since. It was not filled with flowers or photos of him but rather filled with miscellaneous objects that seemed to be completely random. A small photo of a young Elvis Presley, a small plastic figurine of a spanish guitar, some jewellery and various other seemingly random objects. His stuff. The stuff that represented him.
As a starting point for this sculpture I knew I wanted to create a wax head, I wanted to make a cast of my face. Not the most creative place to start but it was indeed very fun ( although I did end up with a very big bruise on my nose..). I wanted the rest of the head to be a crazy collection of ‘stuff’ but I didn’t know what ‘stuff’. It was going to represent a shrine of some short but I didn’t know what sort of shrine.
Then a conversation conveniently came about in the studio about working looking after older people who need to be looked after. My dad had to visit a man every week who used to be a lawyer. He also used to race fast cars. None of this is anything to do with the fact that later in live he became obsessed with covering himself in germaline and purchasing Fray Bentos pies. My great aunt obsessively buys tinned peaches and humbugs. And another family member is addicted to bulk buying kitchen roll.
It fascinate me that as peoples brains deteriorate, somewhere they can get stuck on a loop of something they need, no matter hoe relevant it is to them or their life. The things they leave behind are not always sentimental or beautiful or even at all relevant to the amazing life they may have had. But could instead just be a pantry overfloeing with tinned peaches..