Once I began to save appealing chocolate wrappers and make collages of them, I realized that I was looking at all household packaging with a different eye. Perhaps I would need that background for my next piece, or "what a strange re-purposing of that word" - Perhaps I could restore its meaning in a collage, or use irony to further obliterate the meaning of the word. Advertising words started jumping out at me at strangely inappropriate times. "light", "green", "crush", "dove", etc.
I take daily walks with my dog, Elgee. Occasionally, I spy lenses from a broken flashlight, or a series of cardboard dots that say "HA", which I put in my pocket for future use. I pass on the many cigarette packs, wondering why smokers seem more prone to toss their trash on the ground that purchasers of premium chocolate, whose wrappers I never find. I can't make art out of cigarette wrappings.
I spent some time with another artist who does collages, trading material. I began to feel a bit uncomfortable about using something I hadn't found or purchased for another use. Something that hadn't come from my home or hunger or need seemed strangely inauthentic. There is a different connection to my own trash, which now mostly goes to the studio before being offered to a dumpster. I'm becoming a diarist through the detritus of daily life.
Images have always been easier than words for me, but now the two seem to be forming a meaningful relationship.