"This is a velvet painting that belonged to my gran. Velvet paintings were a trend in the 60s or 70s. When I look really closely I think it’s some sort of print rather than hand-painted. My gran brought it in an Auckland op shop and had it hanging in her little flat that I used to visit after primary school. It was a really basic little unit, but then it had this crazy painting on the wall.
I have these memories of sitting on the couch as a kid, and staring at it, trying to work out where it was. I remember being confused by why the water and sky were black, and why the clouds were blue. There’s something really interesting about how you stare at stuff as a kid, and your imagination. You can really put yourself in the painting and imagine yourself walking down the path.
Last year I ended up inheriting it, as both my grandparents passed away. It isn't worth anything really, but it’s such a distinct and strange painting with a lot of sentimental value. I thought this would be a nice object to talk about, especially because I’m a painter and an artist myself. It’s from quite a distinct time period, with a really distinct aesthetic, which is quite interesting in terms of my own art practice because I’m quite drawn back to that time period through the things that I collect. I feel very lucky to now have it in my home, hanging up above a doorway."
What does sentimentality mean to you?
"Sentimentality is how something like an object can hold a sense of a person, a place, or a time. Often it’s a very personal kind of experience, but it’s also very universal, which is quite cool. It’s strange how sometimes very ordinary or disposable objects can also hold that quality. I am quite sentimental, especially with objects, which is a bit of a problem. I end up hoarding things a little bit. I really envy people who are able to let go of things." - Emily, Te Whanganui-a-tara/Wellington (Interview: Chloe Mason) Find Emily: emilyhartleyskudder.com