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Photo of the installation of the exhibition at Artspace Gallery, July 2020

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Junk Drawer:
Stay Home Project #3

Photo of the front panel of one of the three drawers in the July 2020 exhibition installation.

This is how a simple observation can turn into a task, then a project, evoke memories, invite introspection and become an exhibition.

Photo of a section of the Artspace gallery installation of this work.

2020 — In the time of the pandemic when a total disruption in normal life affects everyone uncompromisingly, reality is reshaped and ways of perceiving flow into it. Suddenly, as if waiting to be recognized, the little things in life including our most personal spaces begin to look different.

Take for instance, the junk drawer. The ease at which I can turn a task into a project both amazes and confuses me. Getting carried away, some call it. For now, away seems a satisfying place to be.

Close up photo of one of three drawers containing the objects dipicted in the photographs exhibited.

These are objects that have taken up residence in what commonly is called a junk drawer, along with a few other catch-all places. With time to allow for some close inspection, I wondered why the objects in the drawer were there in the first place and not lost or tossed. And I pondered their origin and meaning, if any.

I determined that there was a reason for holding on to every object and the reasons vary widely:

  • Usefulness - not today, but has potential for practical or creative usefulness in the future.
  • Sentiment - a memento from an event.
  • Aesthetically pleasing or interesting - not to display necessarily, but to not discard
  • Amusement or novelty - makes me smile
  • Symbolic - a place or time or person
  • Misplaced assignment - e.g. object correctly belongs in a tool box or sewing basket
  • Historical significance, i.e. reveals my age
  • Mystery - I don’t know what the hell it is or why I have it
  • Love - a small gift or token of affection

At the conclusion of the project, I have these drawers containing random and unrelated stuff. I’ll probably box it up and label it. But I will also have photographic documentation of its contents and some fond memories of this time when there was time to see differently.

Photo of a section of the Artspace gallery installation of this work.


Junk Drawer: Stay Home Project #3 exhibition at Artspace Gallery, Richmond VA, July 2020.

Prints, 6 x 6 in., are available for online purchase through the Artspace Gallery Shop.

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Charlottesville, VA.
"Junk Drawer" was selected for inclusion in the gallery's Snaps From My Home online exhibition, June 2020.

For this exhibition, "Artists were prompted to notice spaces in their home. Did they see repetition, light on the patio, repetition of a color? They returned to similar items, and found new ones. They changed their point of view. They got creative in seeing ‘home’ in a new light."

Curators: Stacey Evans and Kristen Chiacchia

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