My mother helped by adding a Nikko ‘JW’ initial under each foot to ensure each dinosaur returned home. Then there were the tantrums that only every sales assistant working in the kid toy section of Target is all too familiar with. “But mummy, mummy I don’t have a baby stegosaurus.”
Later in my teens, my collecting habits became less cute and more problematic.
For whatever reason, I resonated with broken glass. I imagined all the beautiful mosaics I might create or how I could bring this seemingly discarded rubbish ‘back to life’ in a new and artistic way. I kept a separate draw of broken items, hidden from the prying, confused eyes of my family.
This soon phased into the famous ‘jar collection’. Crates and boxes of jars, lined up in the garage and collecting dust for the just in case, one day moment I might need these for a special project.
After moving out of the family home, it was a quick discovery that renting did not accommodate my collecting habits. The glass jar collection had to stay in mom's shed. Until one day in my mid-20’s, she asked “Jasmine can we talk about the jars”.
I didn't watch as they went to jar-heaven.
Adult-life was dedicated to curbing the fetish. Not to minimise judgement (I was well past this adolescent concern), but simply out of necessity.
I remember crying as I hoicked my entire Frankie collection into the spare wheelie bins of my inner city apartment flat. It was time to move house again and relocating my 50kgs of magazines from garage to garage was proving difficult.
To this day, I cringe thinking at such waste of glorious and potential images and words that could have been cut up to use in the Arts Therapy workshops I now run.
I’d like to assume this collecting of ‘stuff’ is a common artist trait. Perhaps.
In my Arts Therapy profession, I now prefer to view this behaviour as more an insight into who I am. A lens of how I view the world, if you will. How I resonate and make meaning with seemingly ordinary but wonderful things and engage creative imagination. It's a reflection of who I am, how I approach problems and meet others with curiosity and intrigue.
SPEACIAL NOTE: This blog is dedicated to my friend, Ashley. She didn’t realise at the time - but asking me for help to collect jars for her wedding has brought back so much happiness.
Be kind and go gently.
Words by Jasmine