I remember my dad’s expression every Christmas morning. You could see the look of concern written all over his face. As I got older I realized it stemmed from two things: 1) concern that we were becoming spoiled, that the gifts would get to our heads and we would struggle to understand our position of privilege on this day 2) the sheer amount of stuff coming into the house.
I’m overly sentimental and have a habit of personifying everyday objects. I’ve always struggled to part with my things, even when I crave a “minimalist lifestyle.” Throughout my childhood, these traits manifested in my absolutely inability to part with a single stuffed animal, playmobil character, book, knick-knack or t shirt.
Every so often my mom could cox a few items out of my room by promising they’d end up at a “worthy home.” I insisted that she personally knew who my things were going to and could guarantee they’d be cherished and enjoyed. Thinking back, I’m pretty sure most of the things ended up at Goodwill.
Coming home now I look at the boxes filled with playmobil and the stuffed animals I begged my mom to save in the attic. I think about how overwhelming the mid-play scene must have been from an adult perspective. For us, paradise, for them, the question of, “who’s gonna clean this up…?” My mom would alway describe the mountains of toys as “optically stressful,” but honestly, I think that was an understatement. I’m incredibly grateful for the childhood I was able to have, however, I ask myself now, “what am I going to do with all of these stuffed animals?”
A project depicting the invasive nature of a child’s belongings.
In this project, we explore the physical space taken up by a child’s things. Toys and stuffed animals leftover from childhood invade our current personal space, attempting to show the intrusive quality of the everyday objects parents have to exist within.