As Paletz & Kalal (2011) describe, unlike an art exhibition or gallery space that is logically arranged in rational order, a Cabinet of Wonders is “organised emotionally” and prompts a myriad of imaginative interpretations and connotations.
My own ‘Cabinet of Curiosity’ contains an assortment of ‘lost and found bits and bobs’ that I’ve accumulated across time from many corners of the earth – scuba diving in the Indian ocean, hiking in the Drakensburg Mountains, walking the streets of London or exploring the cobbled Croatian streets of Split, to name but a few. Each item I associate with a unique place, a smell, a person, an experience. Or sometimes just a memory. Each curiosity lost by someone, somewhere, sometime, somehow. Small and insignificant, yet each for me a tiny discovery, and now a cherished sentimental keepsake. An accumulation of oddities, yet each much more than ‘just another souvenir’ from some glitzy tourist shop.
Each piece, once possessed by an unknown former life and a former keeper, now for me a private and personal memory, embellished with emotions born of my own imagination – and perhaps yours too. Each oddity valueless, yet assuming its own immense creative significance (Paletz & Kalal, 2011). Each one irreplaceable.