About Keepsakes

 

Malcolm Easton illuminates and photographs domestic objects as if discovered in a dusty attic or cellar.  Imagining he has been granted a family's accumulations over decades, he combines old objects with new, and familiar things with those whose purpose is now a mystery.  The arrangements suggest unfinished projects, children's make-believe, or tableaus peopled by outworn artifacts.  His assemblages defy logic, juxtaposing the fragile with the strong, the flexible with the rigid, the tarnished with the clean. Bright colors emerge from muted backgrounds. Shapes and textures stimulate the tactile sense. With references to Joseph Cornell as well as classic Dutch and Flemish still lifes, his images invite us to examine our own store of objects, some that we still possess and others that reside only in memory.  

Easton's photography takes place indoors, but he uses natural light exclusively.  He illuminates each scene using a handheld mirror to direct beams of sunlight into a darkened room.  His subjects come from estate sales and thrift stores, and often bear stains or wear--proof of long use. The people who handled these things are unknown to him. Through their former possessions he seeks a silent connection.