Monday, November 19, 2007

Trading in Memories

Travels Through a Scavenger's Favorite Places

Barbara Hodgson has written about visiting markets, bookstores, cemeteries and courtyards, looking for cast-offs and curiosities "to reveal rich and intimate insights into people, places, and times past." They end up as collages and art pieces in her books and journals. Her introduction is called "Travels in Bric-a-Brac". I've only read the first few pages and can't wait to dive into the rest.

She writes of her travels and scavenging adventures in London, Brussels, Paris, Naples, Budapest, Istanbul, Damascus, Aswan, Marrakech, Tangier, Shanghai, Stanley, Los Angeles, Portland, and Vancouver (her home).

"I have no use for shops where every image is sequestered in a gift frame, where every scrap has been examined for its monetary value; I'm not understood at those places. The streets and anarchic markets that resemble my brain - that's where I go."

In northwest London, she visits Kensal Green Cemetery, established in 1832. "Although Kensal Green has its true celebrities - Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, and William Makepeace Thackeray - few people aside from mourners or joggers go there."

Above are souvenir offerings from Kensal Green - shards of blue-and-white pottery and specimens from huge patches of weeds.

Monique in Vancouver mentioned this book to me in her comment to Sointula. She sent me a review copy, and I'm so very pleased. I'd previously read two of Barbara Hodgson's books so I knew right away this would be another favorite. Her design and collages are so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you, Monique.


Monique said...

You are very welcome!

Imani said...

Monique sent me a copy too and I had so much fun with the book. That picture you posted is one of my favourite images from it.