Objects: Connecting People Through Time





Objects are interesting and tell stories. Objects are excellent for connecting people through time. I have always loved objects and played with objects.

This picture captures the beginning of a lifetime of curiosity, object exploration and making. Even a hammer is included in the background on the right.

© Kate Eggleston-Wirtz

I only have my parents to blame for this obsession of acquiring interesting objects. As long as I can remember on our summer holidays we would drive across country to visit relatives. We would stop at junk shops and my parents would purchase weird and wonderful things.

During one particular summer my parents went mad and bought loads of furniture – my dad’s future refinishing projects. As I was too young to remember, my sister has enlightened me about that trip in 1963. Seemingly on our drive home the car sported a sculptural entangled mass of furniture on the top of our 1962 Buick with a visible ‘God Bless Our Home’ sign strapped to the front (which believe it or not I still have). Inside was filled with three children (no seatbelts) and two dogs staring out the windows. Meanwhile on our 800-mile journey back home people were hanging out of their cars in disbelief taking photos of us. We must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies. This is my eclectic history and I am so proud. Better yet, I have a picture to prove it.

© Kate Eggleston-Wirtz

Many of those items survived my childhood. However all I have now is the sign, the white stool that can be seen upside down on the car and the rocking chair perched on top. My dad taught himself how to cane chairs and he eventually refurbished that rocking chair. Shortly thereafter, we got a puppy. The puppy liked the chair and to this day it has bite marks on its right arm.

The stool is now painted black and sits at my studio door supporting Creepy Blue Man. Sometimes I take it away and use it when I do poetry readings. These pieces of furniture I find comforting. They connect me to my parents, family and history keeping me grounded.

© Kate Eggleston-Wirtz

Bottom line, every object has a story. Objects have been designed, constructed, sold, distributed, bought perhaps sold and bought again, lost and found and at the end of the day… one object can represent a myriad of people and their stories, possibly thousands. Objects are also tangible pieces of time.

My assemblages come to represent not only a narrative that I construct out of my head it is also connecting people and communities both past and present through the symbolic objects used. There is even more social connection when I involve members of a community inviting them to contribute ideas to an artwork.

My object-based work is how I creatively engage with and learn about my external environment. It is how I socially connect with people. The artworks are meant to intrigue and awaken child-like curiosity. They are meant to encourage reminiscence and discussion.

What are the objects that are important to you? What are the objects that connect you to special people and places through time? What stories do they have to tell and what do they say about you? Things to ponder…