SANDRA RUSSELL CLARK
I have always been drawn to junk shops and flea markets…looking for that special object that I connect with or something that pulls me in by it’s unusual quality …my particular thing is ceramics, plates, vases, bowls…perhaps because when I was a child I would run to the the five and dime store every time I got my 25 cents allowance to buy crystal(glass) glasses and plates and pretend to have great dinner parties. It was my fetish, so to speak, but I never thought much about it…
In 2005 when we returned home to the gulf coast after Katrina and walked through the wreckage and debris I was struck by all that just seemed to evaporate and disappear but also by what was left behind…small items that seem to tell a story about their owners… a group of dolls or old tools, a rocking horse from childhood, stacks of old LP’s, odd still lifes of tchotchkes and bric- a- brac .. all small pieces that made up part of someones life…mementos, mascots, lucky charms, Juju….
I remember a woman sobbing on the six o’clock news when she found a ceramic vase, a little donkey pulling a cart that used to house some mother in law plant or something similar..I realized that it was not so much about the object itself she was affected by as much as the memory that it triggered….
This experience made me look at these objects in a different way… they became stronger and larger than life with a personality all of their own…some were joyous others melancholy or longing and some just stared back but each object held a power to evoke an emotion at just a glance. The objects become metaphors in the larger scheme of things…mourning and remembrance, history and culture, childhood and play, desire and longing.