Fetish (no, not that kind)

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fe·tish

noun \ˈfe-tish also ˈfē-\

: a strong and unusual need or desire for something

: a need or desire for an object, body part, or activity for sexual excitement

: an object that is believed to have magical powers

I was talking to my friend and she mentioned that many of my mandalas and ideas for future works are somehow based in fetishes.    Yes, it's true.  I agree.   Part of the process for me as an artist involves a lot of thinking and considering the WHY behind the work.   Sometimes  it can get in the way of the actual making--  often the work has a mind of it's own and you can only see it's meaning after it's complete.

In regards to fetish (which is often erroneously used in only a sexual sense), the definition sheds some light on the work for me.  A "strong and unusual need or desire for something"-  yes.  This is part of the paradox for me in using man-made objects in my work.  For me, the mandalas are about bringing a spiritual aspect to consumerism, acquisition, and the constant state of wanting--more, more, more.  I've been fascinated with "stuff" for years.  How we covet it, how much we want, why we want it, and how much we produce!  I have a love/hate relationship with things- many times in my life I've moved (I think around 25 times) and have either had to pack everything up, or sell it, or some combo.  Once I actually reduced all of my belongings to 6 boxes.  How freeing!  But then, I accumulate again! At the same time, I love design and beautiful objects and see their wonderful purposefulness in our lives.  Fetish, though, may be a bit different, I suppose.  It's a strong and unusual need or desire for something.  How strong, I guess, is the question. I still think it relates somehow.

The other part of this definition I relate to my work  is "an object that is believed to have magical powers".  As a little girl, I had a collection of rag dolls that were completely REAL.  I'm sure many girls did this, but I kept up this belief for a bit longer than many of my friends. I called them my "kids".  They each had specific personalities and I took my little rag doll family very seriously.  In fact, I still have Selina and Joy up in Nolan's closet, despite their torn limbs and tattered faces.  They still have magical powers up there, I know it!   When I took my first photography class in college, I photographed a lot of objects and my professor made the comment that I portrayed these objects as if they had life. I still give meaning to some special things around my house- I mean, everything has an energy of some sort.  Everything is connected an everything matters, to some extent.  Doesn't it?

Why am I blogging about this stuff?  Because, why not?  It's part of the process.  And I want to share it.

Tell me about your relationship to material objects.  Do you covet or abhor?  Or both? Does anything you own have magical powers?