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Pieces of Eight - my biography by Paula MacGregor

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Pieces of Eight - my biography by 

This is a large piece of work, based in an artists water colour box. The title, ‘Pieces of Eight’ refers to the fact that I have six children, so there were eight in our family. The work is read from the top right (round greenish box) anti-clockwise in a spiral ending with the column of thin sheets of paper (hand made from my garden). Then the left side is read starting from the top right, again going anti-clockwise in a spiral (but only in the top half) – finally the big book at the bottom is taken out and unfolded.
The 4 greenish boxes are labeled: ‘dad’,‘the boy’, ‘mum’ and ‘girly’ (my brother and I were rarely called by our real names). Each box contains eight items that remind me of those people. The six glass jars are for my six children (see my other image for detail of these jars), again each contains eight items, the top two each have two smaller jars beside them – these are my four grandchildren. There are six miniature books that I have made that hold childhood memories of walks, collecting, eating etc. Other containers hold representations of my collections: shells, crystals, bones, petals, quail eggs, wasp nest – vintage toys etc…
The window on the left side does open, the scrolls behind are tied with three different shades of blue thread, the top ones hold my dreams and aspirations, the middle hold my blessings and the bottom ones hold my deepest regrets. These very personal writings cannot be viewed, to remove them from their holding place would destroy them.


altered, assemblage, autobiography, biography, books, bottles, boxes, collections, containers, memories, personal, secrets, vintage


  • AlteredIllusions
    AlteredIllusionsalmost 7 years ago

    Paula, this is an amazing tribute to your family! It certainly is evident you invested a lot of thought and time in this lovely family treasure!

  • VenusOak
    VenusOakalmost 2 years ago

    amazing art work….what a beautiful dedication to those you love.

  • Susan  Kimball
    Susan Kimballover 1 year ago

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