#Dust – Tell me about an object.

Can you tell me about an object you own that is tied to a particular memory? In one tweet or two, using the hashtag ‘#dust’, or write it in a couple of sentences below; about the amount of writing you could fit on a post-it. You can send me pictures if you want, but tell me about an object that is significant to you and, shortly, why it is significant. You can leave your comment anonymously below by using ‘anon’ as a name and ‘anon@anon.com’ or another fake email address in the comments form.

I am making something with Nikki Pugh called ‘Dust’. It is a response to a manifesto that claims we will make things with you, not for you. This is one of the ways it’s with. You can read about where the project is at right now over here. If you can offer me a story, it will be made into a Dust Mote. Things that people will find and keep. The stories will also feed into and inform the longer-form narrative fragments in the work. Head over here for full context.

And because this is a two way thing, here’s a couple I will submit:

Object 1: A porcelain badge, square with rounded corners, the transfer of a rabbit with a balloon on the front.

This object broke. It was the last thing in my daily life that came from the boy whose hair smelled like raku firings. It fell off my bag in St. Pancras about 3 years ago and shattered. I still have the largest fragment.

a broken thing

Object 2: A small plush rat.

[no picture]

Bought because it looked lonely. Bought just before something went completely, bafflingly wrong. Now hidden.

I need some less emo objects, huh?

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17 Responses to “#Dust – Tell me about an object.”

  1. Laura November 21, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Like most people I have many objects that remind me of memories, I make sure i collect, pick up, buy and not discard things to remind me of these memories. I wont list them all but here is 2.

    A silver bracelet: The last present i got from someone i loved that died before i could make peace with him or to show how much i care. In someway i hope keeping this may one day solve all my deep emotional problems brought on by this person but i doubt it very much, which is probably the reason its only worn once every few years.

    A box: Its just a shabby cardboard parcel box but it contains many memories from my travels around the world. Reminds me of my fun, strong, brave, carefree adventurous days. It also motivates me to save up and do it all again :)

  2. Derek Henderson November 21, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    A thread of faded red wool about 60cm long with a single knot tied in it. This was tied around my neck by a monk attendant of HH Gyalwa Karmapa XVI after he had performed the Black Hat Ceremony in London in 1974. The knot was tied by HH himself, the head of the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism I belong to, and the most powerful spiritual master I have been in the presence of.

  3. Jenny Ellwood November 21, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    Object: small black piece of paper with silver writing – a note from my then 7 year old, cheering me up when everything was gloomy. She’s 29 now!

  4. Jenny Ellwood November 21, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Oh – the note said “Our love is more precious than money”. not quite spelt like that!

  5. Paul Conneally November 21, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    a large piece of oasis – green flower aranging material – in the shape of a steam train. It was by a bin in a graveyard – lots of pins stuck in it – no flowers but a few dried leaves

  6. Hannah Nicklin November 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm #

    Thanks v much, people, keep them coming!

  7. Mandy Ross November 21, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    ‘Hope and optimism despite the current difficulties’
    In 1984 my dear friend Mike (now lost) gave me an illicit photocopy of this poster – a linocut by John Muafangejo campaigning for Namibian independence from South African apartheid rule. Namibia won independence in 1990. Since then the poster has reminded me of Mike, and helped me to maintain hope and optimism through many different difficulties. And look! Here it is http://www.hopeandoptimism.com/muafangejo.htm

  8. Heather November 21, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Grandad Bear. He is a small knitted bear my grandad gave me when I was very young. I don’t remember the occasion, but apparently he rode round Om on his bike with the bear in his top pocket. It is special to me because it is the only thing I have of his. Interestingly, I have more things which belonged to his wife, my grandma, who died before I was born, as my uncle gave me her pyrex mixing bowl and 1970 cook books.

  9. Heather November 21, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    Bah -silly phone keyboard. That should say “he rode round on his bike” -sorry.

  10. anon November 22, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    A letter from my 3 closest friends, given to me on my 15th or 16th birthday. It makes me laugh and cry when I read it. It also makes me feel very lucky to have these people in my life, they are the most supportive, accepting, fun, inspiring, crazy, patient and loving people I’ve ever met.

  11. Meg November 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    My Gran’s engagement ring. It reminds me every day how lucky I am to have the family I do.

  12. anon November 22, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

    A piece of string used to hold shut a box containing a miniature cheesecake. The cheesecake was consumed at 2am in Grand Central station and the string later used to play cat’s cradle.

  13. Nick November 23, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    A cassette tape of my grandfather giving an interview to the BBC in the 1960s, talking about his musical influences. I never met him but feel like he’s influenced my life in a million ways.

  14. Peter November 23, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    this might not count, as it is lots of objects, but the memories are the same. I often pick up one of my son’s toy cars and put it in my pocket before I go out – not planned, just if I see one lyjng around which they often are. It’s nice discovering it my pocket later and reminds me of my son and also my own childhood and takes me away from the daily grind

  15. Estelle November 23, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    An ammonite fossil. It is broken into three parts, but they can be fitted together. It’s perfectly formed when they are slotted together and is about 8cm diameter and 3cm thick. Inside the fossil – which you can see when you take the pieces apart is a quartz crystal – embedded in what was the body cavity of the snail.

    I have had it since childhood and I like it very much because:

    – I remember the period in my life when we got it – it was when I was about 8 or 9 and my favourite weekend activity was with my father going “skip diving” at local building sites and we’d collect bits of pottery and pipes and other detritus of a previous era then going home to some lovely food and a cake made by my mum. It gave me a fascination with found ‘stuff’ and I think I genuinely felt that I had excavated this fossil myself and the crystal inside was awesome to my 9-year-old eyes.

    – it was at a time when I loved reading fiction, but also non-fiction. My non-fiction fascination was particularly about rocks and animals. This ticked both boxes! I think that imagining how old this thing was and it looking so alien to ‘modern’ snails made me think of adventures and fired my imagination in the world. I think that interest in the natural world, travel and learning has stayed with me into adulthood

    – it reminds me what a wonderful childhood I had and the halcyon days of digging up dirt and collecting things and loving every minute, then going home with my treasures and displaying them.

    It’s currently on my chest of draws in my bedroom, surrounded by make-up and stacks of things. I will take a photo and try to upload

  16. Carol Zakaluk November 24, 2011 at 7:43 am #

    A few years back, I made a trip to author William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, Mississippi. It was his inspiration for the setting in THE SOUND AND THE FURY. The main road to the building was under construction, but I figured out an alternate way to get in through the forest at the back of the property by using a map and my compass that I almost always carry with me. I still keep a pine cone from the Rowan Oak yard on the mantle piece in my bedroom. When I hold it, I’m there again.

  17. claire witcomb November 30, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    a piece of birch bark…papery thin and delicate

    kept safely in a place for ‘precious things’

    delivered by a friend
    a present from her 4yr old daughter
    founded from our adoration of trees when she was really little

    she sent me a batch of her first yellow tomatoes that she grew herself.. BUT, I don’t have those cos I ate them !

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