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Getting to know you in a matchbox: a project by Kay Sentance

Kay Sentance wrote: My proposal was that we Remarkables would show and share our work with other, and give each other a taste of our work that we could actually hold, in a minature form. This idea was based on artists' trading cards, whereby artists transform playing cards with their own unique style and swap theirs with other artists' cards, similar to a calling card. This is often used amongst quilters as samplers. Often these cards become collectables. As many of us work in different mediums I'd like to change the card format to that of a conventional matchbox (approximate dimensions 5.3 x 3.5 x 1.7 cm). The matchbox is to give an impression of your work or your approach. This could be a sound piece on a USB stick, a small 3D work, a poem,or a 2D work, or anything else that fits in a matchbox.

Matchboxes were contributed by Roger Perkins, Lis Mann, Joan Skelton Smith, Philip Lee, Alison Carter Tai, Cally Trench, Valérie Mary, and Ann Rapstoff. The matchboxes were exhibited at The Remarkable Shed Party on Sunday 15th July 2012.

Matchboxes
Matchboxes
at The Remarkable Shed Party,
15th July 2012
Matchboxes
Kay Sentance talking about
the Matchboxes
at The Remarkable Shed Party

Matchbox by Lis Mann

Matchbox (2012)
by Lis Mann

Matchbox by Joan Skelton Smith

Detail 2 (2012)
by Joan Skelton Smith

Matchbox by Cally Trench

All the names I have ever been called (2012)
by Cally Trench

Matchbox by Philip Lee

SLIP (2012)
by Philip Lee

Matchboxes by Roger Perkins

Matchboxes (2012)
by Roger Perkins

Matchbox by Alison Carter Tai

Matchbox (2012)
by Alison Carter Tai

Alison Carter Tai writes: My matchbox encapulates myself as a collector and curator, rather than my work as such, and the matchbox is an original from c.1963 when I started making collections, aged five. So it is a memory box, in microcosm. The matchbox never quite made it to The Remarkable Shed Party ( I was a bit scared of posting it as it is so precious), but it certainly exists and includes the following: the lining of a tiny piece of purple velvet from my Gran Carter, on which lays my mum's tarnished cross marked Sterling Silver, and chain c.1940, a silver sixpence ( a reminder of my Gran-at-Watlington's Christmas pudding surprises), a miniature blue plastic cup from a playset and a piece of my plastic play money, c1963, which had literally been kept (with their respective sets) in the matchbox for the last 45 years (!), a tiny scallop shell from a Sandbanks holiday, a pressed flowerhead from a nature walk, an Olympic stamp of 1948 (my dad's) from my archetypal childhood stamp collection, my 1960s Sindy doll's plastic record from her record player, and a felt slipper I made for my brother's Actionman. There is also a blue milk bottle, a beetlewing case, a Burberry button, a brooch from my Gran Carter and a Judy badge from my magazine club.

I have also squeezed in the most wonderful piece of art work of a four year old imaginable - not mine this time but my daughter's - one of a series of pieces of dark red card two centimetres long and four millimetres wide, wrapped with narrow strips of masking tape, like bodies in a cocoon, Egyptian mummy - style, but with head and feet exposed. I felt wrapped in love when she gave me these as presents, and her smile told me that she felt wrapped in love too. Just a few months later, on 11th September 2001, my daughter had her first day at school. I turned on the TV for Teletubbies on her return after the half day introduction and we both saw the twin towers in New York, that I'd once visited, burning. Time for a Big Hug. As a child I myself had a fear of fire (I ?inadvertently set light to my celluloid doll's hair in the wood fire of our sitting room at Tidmarsh as a four year old) and even a slight fear of matchboxes after reading Gerald Durrell's My Family And Other Animals with those creepy crawly insects kept in a matchbox on the mantle shelf. Neither fear stopped me keeping my special matchbox, though, and this project has been a sort of justification of my collecting habit, and cathartic in its way. I know I am a sentimental hoarder, and I am trying to deal with this shortcoming, slowly but surely, but at least the matchbox, by dint of its negligible size, can be given houseroom for a good while yet.

Kay Sentance
Philip Lee
Roger Perkins
Valérie Mary
Lis Mann
Cally Trench
Ann Rapstoff
Joan Skelton Smith
Alison Carter Tai