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January 11, 2009

Collecting Colourful Memories


Recently I posted about a favourite blog called A View To by Imke Klee, a freelance stylist who works in Paris and Berlin and seems to have her hand in everything, including photography, fashion illustration, and trend forecasting (can I buy your career?). She also handmakes endearing fabric accessories, postcards and prints that she sells in her Etsy shop and this is why I'm talking about her again. Her brooches and keyring pendants, for example, have a nice tactile, personal quality and there's a hint of nostalgia about them - as if you might have discovered them in a drawer, tucked away sometime during your childhood. (Has that happened to you? You come across something by chance and have that "Ah!" moment where you think, "We don't have things like this anymore." This is a bit different but I had that once where I found a Fonzie button from the 70s that said 'Sit on it'. Awesome.)

Imke-broochesblue Imke_rabbit


When I first saw Imke's postcards depicting collections of all kinds of interesting objects and trinkets grouped by colour, I was intrigued. I wanted to know if these were personal items of hers, where they came from and where she kept them. (No, I wasn't planning a burglary, I just love the variety of the pieces and the stories they tell.)

Imke was kind enough to share a bit about her tiny treasures:

"The postcards are photographs of things I am surrounded by - collections I already have. Some from childhood on, some for a short time. Some are arranged in my workroom, some in the kitchen and some I keep safe in little boxes. I just had the idea to arrange them according to colours and to photograph them. They all together can tell stories. I love the idea that anyone can look at them and create his or her own little story."

Reading Imke's descriptions of the individual items is like tagging along on her travels and just about everything else - it's a real delight. And doesn't this serve to show that all of the expensive things we buy tend to become lost, forgotten and meaningless, whereas cheap and simple objects acquired along the way can become far more significant and enduring in our lives?


BLUE COLLECTION: "The Turkish lira are leftover from holidays with four good girlfriends in Istanbul when I was 16 or 17 years old - great holidays! The fashion postcard is from the Musée des Arts décoratifs, Paris - from the Christian Lacroix Exhibition in 2008 - I loved this
exhibition so much! The brooch with the blue "libbard-rabbit" is a part of a hybrid-animal-collection I designed during my studies (in 2006) for a Design Conference. The clog is a typically dutch souvenir I bought at a flea-market in France ;-)  The little brooch with the blue little flower is an very old enamel piece of jewelry from my mother (and before: grandma)..."


BLACK COLLECTION: "The black collage couple (left) I made during my studies (in 2005), during a fashion illustration course - and I stage-managed them for a photo (right) on a very old antique pupal chair inherited from my mother. The little horse in the middle of the card is from my mother too - she also gathered a lot of little things during her childhood and I found them in the attic..."


RED COLLECTION: "The little red trouser pocket extants from my older brothers first Levi's corduroy-dungarees, the red-white VW-Bus I bought in 2007 for my darling, the Paris-Postcard I bought in 2008 in Paris in the Centre Pompidou's great library, the little wooden dwarf is from
my childhood - one of my siblings or my mother tinkered, the in't veld chocolate package is from a little exquisite chocolate-manufacturer in Berlin my sister worked for.... and so on and so forth."


SILVER/GREY COLLECTION: The little lavender bouquet I gathered in my garden last summer, the little porcelain cat was a gift from friends when I was 4 years old and ill in bed after a little accident :-), the great silver spoons are from the Heartwear collection - a not-for-profit association (created by Li Edelkoort), that helps to sustain handcraft knowledge and so, collaborates with artisans to tailor their products for export, without compromising the skill, knowledge, culture and environment of the region involved (at trendunion.com)....they have such beautiful and handsome products!!!


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