The original idea for assembling these objects was to explore fields of inquiry through pseudo-scientific concoctions. I tinkered with different subject matter. At one point, I considered using names of university departments (for example, Dept. of Geology) under the rubric “Wassamatta U.”

Eventually, the scope deepened and each Compartment stood alone. They came to represent psychological associations. The hidden thoughts and feelings that reflect upon themselves internally became evident.

Starting with a photograph provided both background and subject for the other objects. The scale ruler and crumpled mathematical tables belonged to my father-in-law, an acoustical engineer. The gems came from a broken bracelet. The kookaburra feather is a souvenir from Australia. The motherboard came from a discarded computer and the lens from an old camera. The six dangling screws held my husband’s hip together for years until they were replaced. Their original function is no longer—they are now part of something else.

My studio neighbor, Paul Hofmann, gave me the wood boxes in 2022. Shortly afterwards, while walking in north Berkeley I found a biography of Joseph Cornell in a Little Free Library. These called me to compose photographs and objects in the boxes. To finish the group, the original box lids were replaced with gallery frames to formalize the arrangements and tie the group together.

2023. Mixed media, unique boxes, each 16 x 14 x 3.5 inches.