Collections are interesting things. When is a collection a collection? I have a lot of jugs, but I wouldn't say I collect them, I just like buying and using them. A collector - to my mind - is someone armed with knowledge, always searching for that perfect, elusive item to add to their collection. I don't really collect anything - I thought - but a glance around our home showed me that, yes, actually I do like to collect something: photographs. From the group of Polaroids I have stuck to the wall, to the ten or so framed family photos I have on a shelf in the dining room, these are my collections, our family moments grouped together.
And that's the thing about collections, they can be public or private, or both. For me, there is always a tension between how much of my family - information and photographs - I will show here. I want this space to reflect our lives honestly, but am wary of over-sharing, and I have always aimed to keep photos of our children to a minimum on here. I think many bloggers tread this same fine line, and what feels right for one blogger is not the same for another. And that leads me to another collection of photographs, a public one this time: my Instagram account. I collect, curate and publish my own photographs on there, for all to see. Just snaps on my phone, yes, but no less valuable to me for that. I decide what I want to photograph and how I want people to see it although I have to be honest here and say that it's the social side of Instagram which is the most fun - and the most important - to me.
I recently had some of my Instagram photos printed*. I didn't want to be limited to looking at them on my phone and I think that sometimes I forget how much pleasure there is in a photographic print, in holding a real, actual photo in your hand rather than always looking at it on a screen. I decided to create a new collection of them on our hall wall.
Something I seem to like to photograph is that blogger favourite, the downwards-looking shot of a table. They are bursting with the rich colour of a fresh bunch of flowers, a new ball of yarn or a creative project on the needles or hook. Little still lives, they are amusing to arrange and photograph, and then you get to eat the cake and drink the tea afterwards.
But it turns out that is not what I wanted on our wall. Pretty as these images are, they only reflect me, they don't say anything about our family. What I really wanted to look at was memories of moments, of days out, holidays, carnivals, trips to the beach - occasions that made me smile, and I know exactly where I was and what we were doing when I took every single photo there.
And it's less colourful, this collection, it's more of a quiet spectrum of greys, browns, blues and greens. The ones that leap out to me first are the vivid blue skies. I do like a good blue sky, even more so if there are scudding white clouds or a beach scene thrown in too. My landscapes are full of gentle leaf greens and earth browns, appearing throughout a year of family walks, interspersed with pops of pink blossom and the first camellia in the spring, red strawberries in the summer, orange leaves in the autumn. I've yet to capture a white, snow-filled winter landscape here. The colours are surprisingly hushed, for they are the colours of nature for the most part, toned down by the Instagram filters. But I like how they go together, no one image shouting louder than the others, but just working as a group of small square memory-joggers.
Don't forget to visit the other Colour Collaborative blogs for more of this month's posts, just click on the links below:
Annie at Annie Cholewa
Sandra at Cherry Heart
Jennifer at Thistlebear
What is The Colour Collaborative?
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff. Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together? Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too. We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.
* I ordered mine from Origrami, and was pleased with the service, although be warned that they come printed on card not photographic paper.