Objects of Inspiration
Memrica is based in Birmingham, which has a vibrant tech community. Two artists, Ian Andrews and Sarah Fortes Mayer, have devised works based on ‘Objects of Inspiration’ and have bee working with tech businesses to have a different conversation about inspiration. This was partly a community exercise and partly a personal journey; everyone working at the Innovation Birmingham hub was encouraged to bring an object that inspired them to the campus. The artists then worked with everyone participating to create and share stories and journeys using live drawing, photography and performance.
I love this idea as Memrica has its roots in objects of inspiration. When my sister died, I really became aware that there were things around me that sparked memories about her – a vase she’d given me for my birthday made from swirling bubble blue iridescent glass or the books we’d read together as children, tatty and dis-coloured but more precious than ever. The first Memrica app made a connection between these objects and favourite digital images so you could see those memories quickly. When people asked about using it for people living with dementia, the focus of the company changed to what you see today – but I’ve always found pleasure in the idea that when you look at something you see more than its physical presence.
The idea of sharing personal inspiration with a wider community is really exciting. It means searching deeply to express why this object is so meaningful in a way that resonates with others. I’m sure new personal insights will emerge, not only through the thought process but in the act of sharing itself and receiving other’s thoughts and feedback. Self reflection and self discovery is a powerful act, often we don’t give enough time to thinking about what motivates and moves us. Thinking about our own objects of inspiration is really rewarding, because it emphasises why we are who we are.