So the interactive ‘operator’ in this new work is The Gift. Here are some thoughts I have found on The Gift while reading Lewis Hyde’ The Gift: Creativity and The Artist in the Modern World’.
‘The Gift is to the Giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail’ (Walt Whitman)
‘The Gift that is not used is lost, while one that is passed along remains abundant’
‘Gifts are a class of property whose value lies only in their use and which literally cease to exist as gifts if they are not constantly consumed’
‘A circulation of gifts nourishes those parts of our spirit that are not entirely personal , parts that derive from nature, the group, the race or the Gods’
‘…The Gifts we give at times of transformation are meant to make visible the giving up we do invisibly. And of course we hope that there will be an exchange , that something will come towards us if we abandon our old lives..The tokens we receive at times of change are meant to make visible life’s reciprocation. They are not mere compensation for what is lost. But the promise of what lies ahead . they guide us towards new life, assuring our passage away from what is dying’
And most pertinently for me at this stage in the project:
‘..gift exchange is a companion to transformation, a sort of guardian or marker or catalyst….a gift may be the actual agent of change, the bearer of new life’
I have been working a lot with life rituals and making pieces that mark them in some way – birth, bereavement, cultural transitions within life etc
What happens when I ask people I don’t know to give me things they don’t want and then think about and express what they do now want from the space the unwanted thing has left?
A process of transformation, which is a concept underlying all my work, is what I am seeking to offer up. Firstly in the making of the work, through transforming unwanted things into a group of artefacts with new meaning and context. Also, in the articulation by the Giver of what the gifted item represents in terms of leaving something behind and what new, emotional object can be presenced in their lives for future unwrapping?