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Three Hull Mice

A non-productive seven days. I've been ill for an entire week and not left the house since Monday, missing three days of work. I'm not going to moan on, it has reminded me of being poorly as a child, lying on the sofa with a blanket watching rubbish TV, having soup for lunch and a soak in the bath to clear my sinuses. 

So no photographs until today. My last blog entry was called 'Precious' in which I was starting to think about how we preserve human culture in museums and galleries and photographing the paraphernalia used to display and conserve.

Whilst lying at home surrounded by my 'stuff' I've been thinking about what would go in my own private museum, what is precious to me? The first three items are the Hull mice. These were knitted by volunteers and sold by other volunteers in a charity shop to raise money for the Caring For Cats Charity in Beverley on the outskirts of Hull. These now live in a drawer in a 1960's dresser in our dining room as they were bought and brought back to Manchester by our Hullensian friends for our cat Olive. I like this little chain of kindness and so does Olive who will sit by the drawer and use her most dramatic sounds to demand we get them out for her so she can drag them around and give them a good kicking. It makes me smile that they look dishevelled (thanks to Olive) and homemade, probably using up some leftover bits of wool, they show their own history. They were photographed on the mantelpiece, the place where traditionally family treasures are displayed for the world to see.

Whilst making these pictures I had Keith Arnatt's work in my mind. I wasn't trying to reproduce or copy his style, in fact I was trying to avoid making them too similar. He made some beautiful, quiet photographs of human possessions and his images make me think about what we treasure and what we discard in this world. I've written about when I met Keith Arnatt, my photographic hero in a previous entry:

Some examples of Arnatt's work:

© Keith Arnatt


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