Through time, and with use, objects become imbued with memories. To tidy them away is to erase the past.
Over the past few months, artist John Carroll has been making a series of still-life drawings based around the kitchen table at his home in Manchester. The table tends to be a focal point in the house, he says, a place where all members of the family offload whatever they have in their hands at that particular moment. It is always in a state of flux.
Recently, John’s wife’s father died and they have been dealing with the aftermath: emptying his house, clearing, cleaning, and organising. As a consequence, they have acquired a number of his belongings – books, crockery and ornaments. These too have found their way onto the kitchen table from time to time.
The works are black and white, charcoal on paper. The table forms a stage, spotlit and suspended in the darkness. Each object takes its turn upon the boards in a slow and rhythmic dance, whose significance we can only begin to guess at.
Image credits (top to bottom): Clearing and Cleaning; First Table Study; Critical Mass; Gift; Clean Unclean; The Unwrapped; Clearing and Cleaning; Mr Muscle and Grandma’s Horses; Eight Hours; Arcadia.
All charcoal on paper.
Part of The Learned Pig’s Clean Unclean editorial season, March-May 2015.