Objects Can Tell Stories

Objects, stories and lost spoons

‘Objects can tell stories’ is a tag line that I use for my work and its an idea I find I keep coming back to. Objects both found and made can speak to us in so many ways, evoking a real memory or suggesting something completely imaginary. It’s a thread running through my work, and in particular though the mixed media objects and wall pieces I make.

Out to Sea (detail) by Elaine Bolt


When I work with ‘found objects’ and mixed media, I often put groupings together to form framed compositions. The process of selecting, designing and assembling the compositions takes me a good long time to do. I use objects and fragments of things that have been lost or discarded; pieces I’ve collected in different places over time. Some of these pieces I’ve had, and mulled over, for a very long time. I combine these with ceramic pieces that I’ve made, to create new forms and groupings of ambiguous objects.

These photographs illustrate some of the composition process. This particular grouping has changed several times before finally finding its form. This piece is called ‘Out to Sea’ and includes pieces of copper, aluminium, wood, thread, lichen and rope as well as porcelain and terracotta. What’s the idea behind it? Should I say or just let it speak for itself?


My groupings of ‘curious utensils’ often include somewhat fragile looking ceramic spoons and brushes along with other, perhaps more ambiguous, unspecified pieces. Here groups of ‘woodland’ themed utensils are gathered and framed. They reflect some of the look of an elaborate table setting perhaps, mixed with a hint of a museum display?


In a couple of weeks time I will be showing my work at Brighton Art Fair for the first time. This is a slightly different environment than I’m used to as I’ve previously shown at more firmly craft-focused events. At this fair I’ll be featuring my mixed media wall pieces and will have only a few pots on show. It should be a great event and an interesting experience for me.

I’m also focusing on my mixed media pieces for the upcoming ‘Language of Objects’ show at Unit Twelve Gallery. I’m very excited about this show as it features a fantastic range of contemporary makers combining unusual materials in their practice.

There’s more info about both these shows on my events page along with my usual updates on twitter and instagram.

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