'Gently as our days bite'


'Gently as our days bite'
5th November - 14 January 2020


‘Gently as our days bite’ is a series of eleven stories recounted by objects from the RYA Collection. Each artefact is a creation, a character, and a watchful witness of many decades. Every week from November 5th 2020 to late January 2021, Fiona Glen will share a new story here and on the @contemporary_collaborations Instagram page.  

We inscribe things with memory. A simple stone or vase or chair can become a symbol of a person, or a portal to another time in our lives. We can re-enter the world of our childhood when we hold its things again; we can feel the presence of a lost loved one through the things they loved. Together, our things form an extended self, arriving and leaving throughout our lifetimes as our needs and desires and traits shift. They absorb us and express us, and often survive us, going on to gather the touches of other lives.  

Human beings are creatures defined by making – by our use of tools and objects, by our creation of changing worlds to live in and with. And, as much as we are marked by the objects which form the landscape of our lives, our touch marks them. We leave our trace everywhere: in craftwork and patch-ups and notches and scratches. We are witnessed by our places and things in this way. Antiques survive us, witness us, and express us. Their stories are ours, too.  

‘Gently as our days bite’ is an act of listening to eleven objects – of hearing what memories might be murmuring in their material, of following the tangled threads of their possible stories, and of reading their characters, forged between the tenderness and brutality of human time and touch.