Monday, December 15, 2008

how lucky we are...

my dad used to be a journalist for our state newspaper
the courier-mail and he would bring home off cuts of paper -
so during my childhood we always had
a never-ending supply (it seemed) to write and draw on...

i remember very clearly one day when i was very young
my mum telling me how lucky i was
to have paper to draw on,
because when she was a little girl (growing up in a remote bush town
just after the second world war)
they would soak off the jam labels from tins and
use the paper the bread came wrapped in as their
writing and drawing paper...

this has always stayed with me,
both in the realisation of the fortunate life i have lead
(especially in terms of materials and freedom for making art)
and also in our use and re-use of materials and
the consequences for our dear earth.

this story leads me to the image above...
every year my mum and dad would give each of us kids an ornament.
when i left home i took with me a beautiful and eclectic collection
that still decorate my tree to this day...

every year they still give us one, and now i give them one too.

and it is this sense of memory, love, and history
that is the ethos in the ornament-making part of my business...

last year mum gave me the ornament above,
a match box, covered in discarded wrapping paper and ribbon
with an unwound
paper clip as the hanger...
she said she gave it to me so i would never
forget that the beautiful can be made in times
of leanness, or struggle (or sadness).
that beauty can be made out of the recycled and cast aside...
and also, that we should never forget how lucky we are.

it is one of my most favourite ornaments now
because of its meaning... and because it reminds me that
i am never to old to learn a lesson
(even if i think i know it already...)

over the next week i will show you other special ornaments
in my collection, but i thought this a nice way to start.

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