My dad always decorated his own house. When he repaired any damaged paintwork he would pour a few drops of paint into this cup. It is made from pink bone china and is very delicate. It was part of my grandparents’ best tea service.

This is a cross-section of the wooden stick that dad used to stir his paint. A few months before he died he cut the end off with a saw, so that he could look back at all the rooms he had painted over the years. I can see the greyish green of our kitchen cupboards in the 1950s and the bright orange of our hallway in the 60s.

This is the new camera card I bought last week. It holds no memories.

John Smith was born in 1952, in Walthamstow, East London. Smith is a British film and video artist known for his playful subversion of documentary imagery. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life and frequently looking at issues of memory and history, his films explore and expose the language and manipulative power of cinema. Since 1972 Smith has made over fifty film, video and installation works that have been shown in art galleries and independent cinemas around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His recent solo exhibitions include Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2013, 2012 and 2010); Kestnergesellschaft, Hanover (2012); Turner Contemporary, Margate (2012); Weserburg Museum for Modern Art, Bremen (2012); Uppsala Art Museum, Sweden (2011); PEER Gallery, London (2011). John Smith’s films are distributed by LUX, London and Video Data Bank, Chicago. He is represented by Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin.