An elderly woman who I called Mrs Left fascinated me as a child. She was my next-door neighbour and lived with Mr Left. He couldn’t see very well and she used to help him drive, telling him when to stop and where to turn. Mrs Left had wardrobes of extravagant dress ups and a spiral staircase in the middle of her house. She showed me flowers in her garden and told me the Fuchsia’s were like beautiful ballerinas. Mrs Left spent time with me, liked showing me things and took the time to sit and teach me to crochet. I was very young and this would have been a challenging task to take on. I never remember Mrs Left getting impatient or having a cross word. Mr and Mrs Left moved away, to a retirement or nursing home I assume. I was young when this happened and never had the opportunity to say how special it was to have an elderly neighbour provide the nurturing gift of time and patience. I felt safe and inspired.
In Mrs Left’s garden
It All Adds Up is a rug I am crocheting out of salvaged fragments of string, rope, twine, shoe laces and other bits of thread like material. I am doing this as a reaction against buying new and sourcing from what would usually be discarded instead. Believing the desire for more and new impoverishes the human spirit rather than enhancing it. Mending and using what is available lends itself to being resourceful, having far deeper satisfaction than the often-short lived joy that comes from spending and discarding the old. The whole concept of striving for new, more and better I believe is the cause of Affluenza. A social condition where individuals strive to be wealthy and success is determined by how much money you have. Seeking connection and esteem through purchases deprives us of the real pleasure that comes from connecting with another through spending time and resources.
It All Adds Up – work in progress
It All Adds Up is a work in progress that is being exhibited at Articulate Project Space until the 9th of September 2018. I will be at Articulate Project Space Friday the 31st of August 11am – 2pm and Sunday the 9th of September 2 – 5pm if you want to come and contribute string or similar donation to this community collaborative work. You can also leave donations for this work on allocated pins next to the artwork during Articulates opening hours 11am- 5pm Friday to Sunday or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in this project.