A dead mattress

When mattresses die

To mark the milestone of the 50th dead thing, it’s time to tackle one the big ones: mattresses. Dead mattresses are everywhere. With the possible exception of televisions in the run-up to the digital switch-over, mattresses have been – and still are – the most widespread and frequent of laneway losses. The ones collected here […]

Dead carpet

When carpets die

Carpets are another of those non-rigid, non-boxy type discards which offer an infinity of possibilities. Rather like futons and bean bags, there is something beguilingly protean about dead carpets, to the extent that, at different times and in a certain light, they can truly be said to resemble something which has simply curled up and […]

Another dead armchair

When armchairs die

There is an obvious synergy here with the sofa. They are Batman and Robin, C3PO and R2D2, Gilbert and George. In fact, many of these dead armchairs were found alongside their associated sofas (ah, that’s suite) and have been waiting to be featured here in all their glory as distinct, unique, albeit co-dependent, items. As […]

A dead bow tie

When bow ties die

This crushed, damp, bedraggled little item lay in the middle of the street for a time, getting routinely squashed by passing cars every day, all the while, remarkably, retaining the faint vestiges of a shimmer and a shine. It is a model of fortitude and stoic resilience. Once upon a time this would have been […]

A dead laundry basket

When laundry baskets die

“So without proper preservation, much of the history of basket making has been lost and is simply speculated upon.” Wikipedia Although it is purely speculation, it is believed that many of these baskets are thousands, if not millions, of years old. They were formed by a process of gradual accumulation of plastic particles which, over […]

Dead art

When Art dies

There is a sense in which Great Art never dies because its message is eternal and timeless and spans all ages blah blah blah… if you believe such meretricious baloney. The fact is that Art belongs in the laneway. It’s the perfect place for it, propped up against a paling fence, slouched against a wall, […]

Dead gym equipment

When gym equipment dies

Look, I’m not going to say anything here. I think we can all agree there is simply no need. Discarded gym equipment has an eloquence all of its own. Anything I might add would simply be superfluous and trite in comparison. Besides, if I did say something, which I’m not, there’s a good probability that […]

Dead sofas

When sofas die

There is one imperative when it comes to the disposal of sofas: they must always be placed at an angle – albeit an angle of varying degrees. Sometimes the placement can be almost vertical with the sofa hoisted onto its arm end; often it is sloping slightly forward as if the last action of the […]

Dead foam

When foam dies

Foam is one of my favourites. There is something just a little unruly about it, as if its foamness can never be fully constrained. Hence the need to truss it up like a turkey, tear it into smaller pieces or squeeze it into boxes or containers in case its foamacity spills out all over the […]

Ironing board

When ironing boards die

So here’s the challenge: make ironing seem sexy. It is remarkable the number of household chores – decorating, gardening, sewing, cooking – that have been transformed into lifestyle hobbies, tasks that people willingly take on for their own amusement, and yet there are still some activities that resist renovation, that refuse to be incorporated under […]