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  • Helms Jarrell

The meaning of things, found.

A part of my artistic practice is to take notice of the resources around me and to arrange them in a way that makes meaning. I take bits and pieces of information and materials and put them together to tell a story. Found objects are my favorite materials to work with. I like the idea of making something out of someone else’s nothing. I like the idea of transforming trash, waste, into something meaningful and beautiful, something that captures attention and wonder.

Found objects are connected to a sense of place. The place where I find the object is woven into the piece. Found collage papers make up the base of the Saints Icons I created. In the Reliquary pieces, found objects make up a majority of the work. Each object was found in West Charlotte and were items that belonged to people who were evicted. For the Baptismal Font piece, waters found in the Charlotte Watersheds are central to the piece.

Found objects tell more than the story of place. They tell the stories of people. An earring tells the story of closeness of breath and beating of heart brushed beside locks of hair. Rusted washers on the street corner tell stories of passersby, moving from one place to another, closed off in their cars, rushing to the next thing. Hair ties tell of children playing, hair swinging with a skip in their step.

Found objects tell the story of taking notice, paying attention, stumbling upon the glimpse of a life, the hint of treasure found, picking it up, holding it in my hand. Each little object holds life, holds mystery, holds connection and place.




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