Saturday, 22 January 2011

'Family' objects as stimulus

We look at objects that remind us of our own families and things that could be particular to the characters of EITR or to their family as a whole.

Non electric carpet cleaners – my choice because I can see Mr or Mrs Bagshaw having a relationship with immaculately crumb free carpets. 

Jar of jam – my choice (thanks mum) because reminds me of the breakfast table and how relaxed/tired people are in the mornings so a different kind of interaction, a very different quality than in the tense/tired evenings.

Cuff-links – gifts from Dean's family friends who had since lost contact, various other trinkets given as gifts from family members. One of a pair remaining, linked to the memory of the family friend now estranged....All together in a little leather box with a vintage feel. Memories of bedrooms and dressing tables and the alien somehow forbidden feeling of going into the bedroom of a grown up…

Vintage glasses – NHS feel to them, nostalgic, northern, seen in photographs.

Pipe – reminds of fathers and homeliness. The relaxing, homely action of lighting up a pipe, the comforting sound of sucking in the match flame to get the air circulating round the tobacco and a familiar smell. Pipe smoking seen as a masculine, fatherly activity. 

Tea towel - Harriet brings this along. Chintzy pattern appropriate for the Bagshaw family. Chintz and textiles seen as homely. Harriet recounts a significant point in her family life where her sister split open her head and a tea towel was used to stop the bleeding. We liked this alternative use of a seemingly innocent domestic object.

Button box - Harriet has inherited this button collection and speaks of the button collections she has been aware of from various matriarchs in her life. She speaks of the pointlessness of all these singular buttons that are gathered and kept but serve little purpose. Buttons saved 'just in case'. Perhaps this is an outmoded activity as these days rather than repair clothes people tend to buy new. Button boxes are something I've always enjoyed. There's something satisfying about the sound of them shaking in the box and the feel of cold plastic buttons. 

Book - Harriet recommends 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' by Kate Atkinson as a book full of family orientated stories.

Family correspondence - Harriet talks us through various correspondence sent by her family. Harriet points out the apparently trivial detail of the letters and the context/subtext behind them. 

Sheet music – Dusty Springfield – Close my eyes and count to ten. I feel this is a particularly appropriate song choice for Jean Bagshaw...

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