I've collected found objects obsessively for over 20 years now. This process began in childhood with collecting stones, fossils and artifacts in ploughed fields along the Welsh Marches. Litter also had great impact on me as a child. In a rural environment a discarded crisp packet becomes something so obvious that it demands to be picked up. Occasionally this litter may be a handwritten note or train ticket which betrays the history of it’s previous owner and gradually becomes a part of a collection.
Environmental sustainability is an important to me. Recycling forms part of the origin of my collecting though is a secondary driving force. I view my compulsion to collect what I consider litter as a non artistic action which sits alongside a more rewarding sense of hunting for objects to be used as materials. Occasionally the two overlap.
Today these collections of found objects can be categorised into items of which multiples can be found such as soles of shoes, crushed lighter heads, arms of glasses, destroyed credit cards etc. and unique objects which hold a biographical echo of the past owner or place it was found. A third category is reserved for objects I find interesting for their patina such as pieces of metal, plastic or paper.
The assemblages I subsequently create act both as personal diary, social anthropological record and historic document of place. As someone who is strongly attached to materials; found objects hold great talismanic value and have huge potential to titillate my inner Magpie. In the past I have returned specifically to a street corner having regretted not picking up an object which I passed earlier in the day. I have constructed the simple rule that if something interested me enough to pick it up I will take it back to the studio and let it sit alongside the rest of the collection. If it still remains interesting then it becomes part of a work.