About eight years ago or so, I started collecting magazine clippings and photos and organizing them in binders. This was spurred initially by being overrun by magazines. (I love ordering magazine subscriptions...it is always so great to go the mailbox and find something new and interesting waiting for me.) My binders, one for fashion, one for baking, one for cooking, one for dream home ideas, one for crafty projects I might just do some day, etc. allowed me to hang on to the best snippets of my magazines and recycle the rest (hopefully avoiding ending up as an eccentric elderly woman crushed in her home by her possessions someday). Unexpectedly, the binders also became a sort of Encyclopedia ala Betsy...a catalog of my interests and tastes that I could see change over time. An old-school version of Pinterest I guess...with scissors, glue, and protective plastic sleeves.
When I entered grad school, my clippings expanded to include photos from library books. Of course I did not cut them out of library books...instead I scanned the photos and printed them out. When I flip through this binder, it is like entering a time warp. I am whisked back to my first couple years of study...the ideas, the struggles...ah....those were the days...
Today, I leafed through my "interesting artists" binder and I came across Doris Salcedo. She is an artist from Columbia and works with domestic furniture and cement, among other things. I never took the time to learn a lot about her specifically but I always respond to a certain haunting quality in many of her works. The fabric details emerging from the cement filled furniture seem like looming, heavy memories.
The images above include a range of Salcedo's pieces. You can read more about her here and check her out in PBS's Art 21, Season 5.