Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Lost/found objects

"Curators often see the city as a weave," Jack Lohman, director of the Museum of London said in a talk on collecting the everyday at a workshop on Extreme Collecting at the British Museum (31 January 2008), "with strands of human stories all tied together, where every strand is a connection, where nothing can be excluded." For archaeologists the city consists of layers, for politicians it is an arena where battles are fought.

Walking through the streets of Eastbourne I look out for found (or rather lost) textile objects. The items most frequently encountered are single gloves, baby bootees or mittens, the odd scarf or woolen hat. People tend to pick those up and place them at eye level on a gate or wall to be found by those who lost them should they retrace their steps because we all know from own experience how annoying it is to be left yet again with a single glove, to lose a favourite scarf - and so easily done. Rarely in the times of Kleenex but still occasionally in a town with a large proportion of elderly inhabitants, I see a lost handkerchief, unlikely to be picked up by anybody due to fear of nasty germs. Some things dropped in the streets make you wonder - a pair of knickers or underpants: how could they have been lost in the street?

On the way to the supermarket I come across an umbrella cover and a pink button and decide to take them home and put them into the Textile Files.


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