Saturday, 14 August 2010

Collecting ideas

A quieter Saturday than some of the previous ones, in part due - apparently - to the Airbourne show at Eastbourne, and in part due to the sun coming out as the afternoon went on - by late afternoon the view outside was irresistible, and most people headed outside to enjoy the return of our summer. Prior to that though it was another great session, with a wide range of people exploring the value of objects, in relation to the art on display, to their own lives, and in relation to ideas. Today's focus was on collecting words, descriptions and ideas, and highlighted a range of reactions to the work. One lady spoke of her "painful" response to Clockwork, as it spoke very directly to her of her personal circumstances, of the chaos that her disability often caused in her life and the way it ate so much time out of her life. I was struck by how moving she found the work, and the levels of interpretation this exhibtion can sustain. Another group - this time young archeologists - referred to the obvious archeological aspect of the pieces - the ways Takahashi shapes a story out of what is discarded or considered "throwaway", but that those stories are to be excavated, they are found within the layers of debris. Using play to identify what "stuff' is of value in people's lives has been illuminating, as has been the ways in which people decide where the value of the exhibits lies. One gent came striding through mid-way through the afternoon in search of the crisp packet collection, which is actually showing tomorrow (Sunday) but due to an error in the paper had been advertised for today also. He was full of purpose as he strode in and I was struck by the lovely idea of a collection of crisp packets generating such a physical response. Objects do indeed have great power, symbolic and otherwise, and the value and meaning in them is endlessly open to interpretation and utterly subjective. In our activities today some people's most valuable object was their Bible, for others it was an inexpensive brooch, or a little china bluebird, or Granny's biscuit barrel - what other people would dimiss as junk. The most potent art it would seem in this exhibition has been the power to make people examine their own relationships to the objects that make up the literal and metaphorical "stuff' of their lives.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

1980's Crisp Packet collector creating a media storm...

As part of our Collectors' Corner season, we have Dave Valentine's 1980's Crisp Packet collection coming to the De La Warr Pavilion on Sunday 15th August at 2:30pm.

A media storm has been created and everyone seems to be talking about it...

Have a look at the following stories and get yourself down to the Pavilion on Sunday to see the collection and hear the talk for yourself! Click here for more information on the event.

The Sun

Argus - Bexhill man's crisp bag collection

Newsround - man has £10,000 crisp collection

Studentbeans - crisp packets worth £10,000

Plus it has been on BBC Breakfast News and many other sites.

Here are some of the Twitter Comments:

BrightonBuzz Bexhill man's crisp bag collection worth a packet

rohanjay Don't miss the world's greatest crisp packet collection - oh yes it is! - on show at the @DLWP Bexhill Sunday

fob51 RT @dizzytigerstu: Silly season tabloid fame for our Dave & his crisp packet collection (The Sun etc).

brightonargus Bexhill man's crisp bag collection worth a packet

discoverbexhill 1980s Crisp Packet Collection on show this Sunday at 2.30pm @dlwp. It's worth £10,000 and has generated lots of interest in national media.

Monday, 9 August 2010


Yesterday afternoon in Gallery 1 was a delightful treat with Dave Homewood bringing along several of his collection of phonographs with records and cylinders to play some wonderful old tunes for us.

Also on display were 7 of my own Japanese dolls or 'Kokeshi'.

About 70 to 100 people must have come along to see what was going on drawn in by the fabulous sound of voices from long ago singing down the length of the gallery. A buzzy atmosphere was created by people looking at Dave's wonderful machines and asking questions. A number of people were also specifically interested in asking about the Kokeshi.

At one point when quite a crowd had gathered I asked Dave some questions about his phonographs and about collecting in general.

We found out that for both of us our collections had started when we were children and a relative had given us something as a gift that kicked off a lifelong passion.

Nearly everyone had lovely gentle smiles on their faces as they heard the beautifully ghostly voices emanating from horns and cone-shaped speakers.