Thursday, 21 January 2016

Little Brown Jug

You are found outside a junk shop, cold.
You came here in a bag, paper.
Placed on my desk, gently.

Would anyone else have exchanged cash for you?  You have issues, you're not fit for purpose.  Your use value is diminished, eliminated to most.

Your previous life is a mystery but here's what I know:
It began with care, and ended undignified and uncared for, discarded.  Yet in some way you are not completely lost.  The lines raised in your handle.  Your neck, beyond chipped - a vital part of you gone.  You were turned, not cast.  Your spout worked after.  The potter's pun on modesty: a leaf covering the join between your handle and body.  You are simple but detailed.  Not one tone but two - glossy brown and creamy grey.

I assume you were used.  I assume you were broken in use.  Even your sharp edges are smooth.  Your missing piece revealing your material nature.  Where is that splinter, the fragment which would complete you?

Now you wait for me.  You have lived here, in my studio, for six months, but only now do I know your future. Your quiet motionless stance asks me 'what next?'.  Your new life will be different.  Will it fulfil your true purpose?  Probably not, although it won't negate it or ignore it.  It might question you, but, more importantly, you will question us.  You will be seen, visible, rather than used, invisible.  Your break, your journey, has altered your purpose in more ways than one.

This jug, mended, will be part of my installation Sides to Middle 
in Mending Revealed at Bridport Arts Centre, opening 4th March

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