a collective thought…

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30/06/2013 by Sarah Ritchie

hubcap collection West Auckland New Zealand

Hubcap collection, West Auckland, New Zealand. Photo by Simon Ritchie.

I would be willing to bet that you had a collection as a child. Coins? Stamps? Posters of Michael Jackson?

When I was a child I had – much to my mother’s horror – a spider collection (I am guessing I was not your average child).

My husband, Simon, took this picture (above) of a hubcap collection in West Auckland. Why was Simon impressed enough to take a photograph? What would inspire someone to create a display of hubcaps on their roadside fence?

When I was a young girl, there was a Black Power gang convention in my local area. The members were given permission to ride through the local shopping centre under police escort. I remember watching the procession with awe. There must have been a couple of hundred high-powered bikes, all moving together…en masse. Though deafening, and somewhat frightening, it was – no doubt – an impressive sight.

Think about the following images:


Gannet colony, Murawai, Auckland, NZ / Fred and Myrtle Flutey’s paua house, Bluff, NZ

One gannet by itself = a nice-looking bird. A colony of gannets = a tourist attraction.

Fred and Myrtle Flutey spent a lifetime collecting paua shells (Haliotis iris) and their “Paua Lounge” became the largest collection of paua shells in New Zealand. After the couple died, their collection was transfered to the Christchurch Museum.

Do we become collectors for the thrill of adding “just one more”, or to chase the rare or missing piece? Is it borne of a delight to look upon a group of similar objects together? Is it the sense of satisfaction you attain as a curator?

Though – as adults – we may not put as much interest or effort into the act of collecting, we still experience a sense of wonderment and appreciation when we observe a collection – be it a herd, a swarm, an album or an armada. Awesome! Literally.


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Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
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© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

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