When I was a child this cabinet contained all the worldly goods and assets that could be redeemed for money. It took pride of place in our living room and every special cup and saucer had a story connected to it about its mythical value. The cabinet had a special aroma from the mahogany timber and collected staleness which added to the awe and reverence as incense does in a church.
I don’t think it is entirely why I began ceramics but my exploration over the last few years has definitely hearkened back to these objects. They represented beauty and aspiration in an impoverished household and now the image seems so pathetic because you do not see the stories and dreams there. I heard Waleed Ali today discussing the haute couture of the fifties in Melbourne after the War and Depression years as a way of re stratifying the social classes. Maybe that is what acquisition of fine objects also represented to our parents but for me they were eye candy that made my fingers itchy to handle.
They were not objects that were handled frequently and as visitors were infrequent, there never seemed an appropriate time to use them. In the end the kitchen objects were imbued with the greatest nostalgia through their frequent and favoured use.
Beautiful objects teach our senses something. They grow on us through muscle memory and their memory can be recalled long after the objects are gone. What are our children going to look back on with fondness-plastic cutlery, polystyrene and cardboard upsized food and drink buckets? Whoever thought to use the word bucket and food in the same sentence?