Jane Sauer Gallery
Santa Fe, New Mexico
It hit me as I was sorting through pictures of my 93-year-old aunt who died recently. One picture held my attention. Something about the dress she was wearing, the hairstyle, the tilt of her head, at age 17. It was as if everything she was and could be was captured in that picture.
Other people might think it charming or interesting, but for me, it held enormous power. I began to think of other objects that do that for me. My teddy bear from childhood, not just any bear, that particular bear. A twe-dollar bill, an artfully altered two-dollar bill that belonged to my father. A photograph of my parents on their wedding day.
The idea of objects having power is not a new one. Anthropologists and art historians and religious scholars understand it. Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet, wrote a wonderful book titled Odes to Common Things. Everyday objects such as socks and spoons and a pair of scissors were celebrated and, in my mind at least, made uncommon.
But I was interested in the objects that individual people hold dear, the ones that make us remember the past or dream of the future. The one object grabbed while fleeing a burning house. And so I emailed some friends and received extraordinary responses.
This work is based on those responses. Some are specific, some a compilation of several responses. There were no mentions of bearer bonds or diamond necklaces. No valuable antiques or flat-screen TVs. Most were simple objects with complex stories