Things the cat brings in

Working on this residency has started to change my attitude to staying in one place. Before I would go out to look for ideas, inspiration, community. Now when Otto is still asleep in the morning or naps in the afternoon, I work upstairs. This rhythm has expanded our home from being a place which was the opposite of being out in the world, to being the place where a million different things happen. I am grateful for the obstacle of non-movement. The narrowing of my palette has revealed new materials that were there but I hadn’t seen before; the moons that appear from next door or the rhythm of domestic days.

I have started to become aware of the ebb and flow of objects that arrive in and leave our home. Each week I bring things home from the thrift store, and every week I take a bag of different things back to the same thrift store. Groceries comes in, rubbish goes out. Tired boy in, rested boy out. Bills in, cheques out.

The cat has a special door so that no other animals can come in, she wears a magnet on her collar to activate it. In this way, every so often she brings me small magnetic gifts from outside. This morning two rusted drywall staples, last week a three-inch nail from the ash bucket. Before that a dinner fork that she dragged up two flights of stairs to my studio.

A few years ago I was given this empty metal card-index box that someone had once marked “metal detecting” with biro on a strip of masking tape. I filled it with rare earth magnets so that it became magnetic itself and have been wondering ever since what it is for. Now I realise that it will hold the collection of things the cat brings in.

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