I remember one Christmas in the cracker was this fish and she squealed with delight – she had had them as a kiddie. Don’t think I’d ever seen one before. She put it on her hand and it curled up a bit and waggled. Then she took it, all delicate, and put it on my palm. It didn’t do nothing, just laid there. Still. Then I looked at her, her eyes shining, and her touching my hand, and suddenly the fish started twisting and leaping on my palm and she laughed and laughed.
I found it the other day in a book she must have been reading before she left, like a bookmark. I put it in my hand and it lay dead still.
I think it must be broken.
Back in June I attended a workshop with Amanda Dalton at the Royal Exchange. She explored different ways of being inspired to tell stories by objects. I realised I have greatly underestimated the importance of objects in my own work and I’ve been thinking about this ever since. I think about the people, the relationships, the situations, wants and needs, but I’d forgotten that objects can tell the story of all those things.