OBJECT STORYMAKING



Objects are the currency of time. I love the storymaking role they play – the museumification of ourselves through the items we find, and acquire, and treasure, and keep. What we wear, what we display, what we secret away in a locked box. What we post on social media; what we only show to a trusted friend. The things we fret over when they’re missing. The things we’d rescue from a fire.

Hoarders and Dustcatchers
Another way of putting it is…I’m a hoarder of pointless things. They are in old suitcases, a tea chest, little treasure boxes and hanging print trays. They’re on window sills and bookshelves. They sit with me while I write at my desk. Some have been passed on to my children or used as plot prompts in my writing workshops.

I should probably get rid of these dustcatchers, but each one has a story that anchors me back to a time and place. Every object is a transaction between my past and present self. They are the pilgrim’s scallops of a 34-year journey.
 

Flatlay Storytelling
When I was struggling to come up with imagery for my website, away from the typewriters, ink blots and piles of books often found on wordsmithing sites, I thought this weird array of random trinkets might perform the same two roles that my site needed to:  firstly, to convey something about me, and secondly, to promote my belief in storymaking. Arranging this disparate miscellany by colour also reflects the core strength of my work, which is essentially about making sense of chaos and creating organisation and structure.
 

Shooting objects for the website with Neil Randle

Shooting objects for the website with Neil Randle

Objects as Dialogue
Working on the imagery as part of a fun collaboration with designer and photographer Neil Randle brought a further dimension to the surface: connection. The objects spark curiosity, interest, and pangs of recognition or familiarity. What are these? Where did this come from? I had one like that! This reminds me of…! Do you remember those…?  Objects as dialogue. The springboard into shared meaning.


What’s in Your Museum?
So take a look around this strange little museum. What do you see? What do you recognise? What makes you want to know more? Ask me your questions. Tell me your stories. I’d love to hear from you. I wonder what objects we’ll connect through. I wonder what would be in your museum?


Share Your #StoryObjects
Are you on Instagram or Twitter? Share the objects that tell your stories using the hashtag #StoryObjects and tag me in. Stories make us human. Let’s start new connections and have new conversations.
IG:   @terrific_whistlers
Tw:  @hollyjdawson