When I was a kid I wanted to make dioramas as my job. I was inspired by all those museums that have now gone all glam and interactivey and thrown out their dioramas. Of course I could have followed some path that made me make movie sets or some such but the idea of going to meetings to discuss how to make some ones elses ideas a reality for just a movie would defeat any purpose for me. It’s in the idea, it is in the making and it’s in ensuring that the product isn’t perfect. I love those matchstick pa fences. I could look at them and think, I could do that.. and I could imagine the actual people in the pa working in a real and imperfect way, like life is and how nature is. The imperfect left space for me to think of the actual making.. no lazer cutting machines for me. I finally finished a diorama today. I’m calling it an interactorama. I paper mached a shoe box then decorated it. You can totally see a person made it. It’s made out of paper, flour and water, rubbish and some paint. It’s for a friend who turned 8 at the beginning of lockdown. To keep his lego spaceships in (if he wants), it’s a set for stuff I can’t imagine. I tried to think of a way to make these as my job but each one (there are others) takes a day and some paint, or fancy paper = money and time. I like that this looks home made because it gives space for kids to have ideas. I fret for kids brought up in a just so, tidy, new, clean environment as to where they feel they will fit, and what they will value. I couldn’t sell a diorama with such a finish, or for a price that would give me minimum wage. If I charged minimum wage I’d have to sell to rich people who would never pay me in a way that would see my hourly working rate the same as theirs so I’d rather not.
Helena wants to be so many things when she grows up and all of them are badly paid or/and difficult; children, art, poetry, singing, writing, inventor, scientist, teacher. She worries that she won’t get to be them all. I wonder what she means though, does she see me making this diorama as me living my dream? In so many ways I am living the dream, I don’t do anything I don’t believe in, I’ve never sold out… I heard her and one of her friends, while they were playing house, talking about how they had jobs and went to work to earn money. I don’t know what their job was but later they were talking about millions of dollars, but they still lived in their house and slept on the floor, aye?
I am very keen to start the next diorama but I gave Helena the other box. I want to do under water and a stage… but I’ll let her let her imagination go for it.