These essais are not specifically about objects – they are as much about the people who chose them, with whom I have been able to walk and talk.


Fabiola Williams is a person of seemingly boundless energy – a corporate exec, Gestalt psychotherapist in training, mother, improviser and orangutan saviour, amongst a multiplicity of roles.


With  most walk and talks the destination is not what we are concentrating on.  The ideal is to keep moving, keeping the conversation moving and the thinking active.


On this occasion, we hit a dead end.

Gallery view of ‘Ai Weiwei: Dropping the Urn’, 15 October 2011 – 18 March 2012 [Sadly the windows were covered for this exhibition]

We found ourselves on the top floor of the V&A, at one end of the Ceramics Galleries.  Room 146 at the East and its sibling at the end Western corner of the front are two of a very small number of spaces at the V&A where one can see outside of the Museum.  A square room it has windows on two sides, as well as a tantalizing fire exit which leads to a twisting glass bridge linking to another part of the museum.



Museums tend to focus tightly – a fine expert view on an object and its detail.


Sitting amongst the cases of Room 146, I asked Fabiola what was taking her attention, where she was applying her focus. “Can I have the whole room as my object?  The sense of space is infinite”


Listening to her, I was made exquisitely aware of the relational dynamics of the space.

A cube, with a cupola above, the room accesses the rest of the museum and the outside world.  It has an ever changing display of objects.  A dead end as part of a walk, a live beginning to a broader perspective.

Fabiola noticed how the sun altered the room as clouds passed across it, but how it would change through the day as the Sun rises in the East and illuminates the room, passing to the West by the end of the day.


I liken conversations with a partner and an object as a triangulation, my interest being in how one of the three affects the other two and vice versa, breaking the binary and accepting the “maybe” between the yes and the no.


With Fabiola, conversations are in 3 or 4 dimensions – sometimes more.

What is it that breaks our focus and allows us to see beyond the 2 dimension of our computer screens or the 3 dimensions of office in which we sit?

Maybe we all need a Fabiola in our lives.