I was thinking about some of the comments I had on the Treasures post about how my children would arrange their stuff and I thought: yeah, ok, but it just looks like a big pile of mess! And then I thought: It’s funny how they don’t distinguish between things of ‘value’ and things which are ‘worthless’; that distinction – of value and worth – is one which society and in turn we as adults make and impress upon them. To them, a gemstone is just as precious as a plastic toy from a magazine, or a shiny sticker, a metal bangle, or a worthless string of glass beads. So I was playing around with ways to juxtapose the imposed order and ‘objects of value’ with the jumble of junk, plastic tat and general disarray which overwhelms any average child’s bedroom – the ‘treasure’ with the ‘trash’ – and I decided to try presenting them in a diptych format, using one of the ‘treasures’ images and also a shot of one of the insides of my daughter’s many treasure boxes. I like the formality and constraint of the diptych layout, but there is a bit of chaos there threatening to burst out.
My children like to collect little treasures: stones, fossils, shells, beads and crystals. They secrete them in boxes or little bags which end up scattered around the house. Sometimes they trade them with each other, but mostly they just enjoy the simple tactile delight of collecting them, and knowing that they belong to them, like the piggy banks full of tooth fairy and pocket money coins they count endlessly but never want to spend. We have so many of them now, I thought I might start making some sort of photographic record of them, but then I got carried away trying to make artful arrangements instead.