Last week I had the unexpected opportunity of being shown round the Fine Art Final Degree Show at Cardiff Met, after visiting the institution for an Artists’ books workshop. I came away wishing I’d had more time to see the rest of the degree show; but also some insights into my own attitudes towards the creation of art, and my own creativity.
One piece by the artist Thomas Dunn, which I think took inspiration from the work of Peter Blake (A Museum for Myself), included what I viewed as essentially a pin board reflecting who the artist was. This took me back to my student days and my own pinboard that would grow over the year, and then the individual items packed away/thrown away at the end of the year, or whenever I was about to move. I say ‘thrown away’, seeing as I am a complete hoarder this is highly unlikely. It is possible I have a photo of at least one incarnation of this pinboard, and I almost certainly have a tin somewhere containing most of the elements of such a board. These days I tend to construct scrapbooks instead.
However, pinboard as a conscious art piece – this appealed to me as a way of initially contacting my semi-dormant creative self. I still have the actual pinboard from my student days, and decided to create a transient piece of the moment, to reflect who I find myself on one particular day. On the 6th June 2015 I collected pieces of memorabilia, and items I identified with, from around the house; the kind of items that would, perhaps, in my student days have found their way onto a pinboard. I then arranged them and photographed the work, before dismantling it again. The idea was not to create a permanent piece, but a snapshot of who I am, or perceive myself to be, at one particular point in time. If I were to recreate the experiment, next year, next month, or even tomorrow, the piece would be different.
Current society inhabiting the digital / mobile age appears to be rendering physical collections of memorabilia as obsolete. Using Pinterest instead of pinboards, photos taken on phones and tablets – and never being printed out; for the cultural historian of tomorrow where is the physical evidence of cultural likes and dislikes? I own scrapbooks from my great aunt, and my mother (both made when they were children/adolescents), and I compile my own. This transient piece however is more reflective of the ‘instant’ society; made today, gone today, and could perhaps even a be regarded as a ‘false positive’ as its formation was not the organic construction of my student days.