I’m running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don’t get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.
This week we say hello to author, friend, lovely lady and awards hoover, Kaaron Warren:
I’m obsessed with other people’s collections. More particularly, other people’s discarded collections.
I once bought a plastic bag full of recipes torn from magazines dating back to 1963 from the junk stall at a fete. The pile must have sat in someone’s kitchen drawer, being added to day by day, week by week. Then she died (I’m assuming it was a woman. Also assuming she died) and whoever sorted through her stuff lifted the lot out, shoved it in a bag and gave it away.
I wrote a story about the recipes but sadly they didn’t survive. A rat died in the box I kept them in in the shed:
I found this set of old postcards at a school fete. Some of them date back to 1917, but most were written in the 1920s.
On the strength of my research into the cards, I applied for and received a Fellowship
at the Museum for Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. So very worthy five bucks spent there.
When my mother-in-law died, I asked if I could keep her jar of buttons. Every one tells a story, I think. Rescued from beloved clothing, or ready for the sewing of new items.
I did the same with my father-in-law’s rusty tin of rusty drill bits. Projects completed, projects projected; all in this tin.
I work in a second-hand shop once a week, and we see many, many collections come in. Our stuff is sourced at the tip, so this is stuff that’s been literally thrown away, although where I live, people know that the tip keeps the good stuff and people buy it, so it isn’t considered rubbish.
We’ve had 56 owls. 40 rabbits. 30 sake cups, including one that showed a naked woman at the bottom when you filled it with liquid.
And this is a bag of baby teeth that came in with somebody’s discarded jewellery collection. I’m not taking them out of the bag. You can, if you like.
Shirley Jackson Award Winner Kaaron Warren has sold 200 short stories, three novels including the multi-award-winning Slights, and five short story collections including the multi-award-winning Through Splintered Walls and her most recent, The Gate Theory. Kaaron is a Current Fellow at MoAD, researching Menzies, William Ashton, and the Granny Killer.You can find her at http://kaaronwarren.wordpress.com/ and she Tweets @KaaronWarren
Are you a creative artist? Fancy joining in and letting us know about that special item, object, location or cosmic state of being at the heart of your creative process? There’s always room for another lunatic in the asylum: email me and make your most excited Horshack noise.