The etymology of the word ‘paraphernalia’ suggests ‘the property which a bride possesses beyond her dowry and which she brings to the marriage’
(The Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, 1993. Wordsworth).
Paraphernalia is a series of paintings of wedding gifts I received but never used and lately rediscovered in an old shed at the bottom of the garden.  Not being adept at cooking or baking, I stored these gifts – now largely rusting – until I would become proficient in the culinary skills.  Now I have decided to paint these presents, in an attempt to restore to them the giftedness originally invested in themParaphernalia seeks to foster a fresh look at the strangeness of these objects.

Paraphernalia espouses the philosophy that underpins all my work and is best described by the surrealist idea of the ‘marvellous’.   The marvellous, in common with the uncanny, makes the familiar strange and suggests a blurring of opposites – the solid and the ethereal, the known and the unknown, and the animate and inanimate.

The ‘marvellous’ illuminates a mysterious dimension within everyday experience and ordinary things. For example, inanimate objects are not at all inanimate but very much alive. According to physicists, objects are pulsating heaps of atoms rather than mere lumps of plastic, metal, stone or wood.  I imagine that objects exude residues of smell and personality just as living creatures do. They certainly have their own aura, atmosphere and ambience.









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Judy Carroll Deeley 2017