“My sentimental object is my great-grandmother’s cashmere coat. She moved here (to NZ) with my great-grandfather from Holland with my grandmother. They came here as refugees after WWII. The coat was custom-made for my great-grandmother in Hong Kong. I never knew that she had travelled, but it turns out, every year my great-grandfather used to send her back to Holland, and she would travel around.
My great-grandfather actually had a secret family in Tawa. When they moved here he fell in love with a local woman. My great-grandmother knew about this. It was the 1950s, so she allowed it, on the condition that he supported her and the four kids; attended every event; and sent her back to Holland every year. So she would go travelling around on his dime. On one of these trips she stopped by Hong Kong, where she got herself a custom cashmere coat that I still have and wear.”
What does sentimentality mean to you?
“I guess it’s just something that you feel emotionally tied to. I just love stuff. I have an emotional attachment to pretty much everything. Everybody in my family are borderline hoarders. When I’m on the road, I’ve started collecting things that seem really cool. I’ve got a little bottle of water from the glacier in Mount Cook. I’ve collected some black sand from the West Coast.” - Brittany Te Whanganui-a-tara/Wellington (Interview: Chloe Mason)