Rummaging in the Dusty Portfolio
Updated: Apr 24, 2020
A cold winter's weekend with no desire to leave the house brought hubby to brave the chilly climb into the loft to start hoiking out stuff for recycling or disposal at the tip or passing to the charity shop: a neglected suitcase bought for the honeymoon, now sulking in the corner, hoping no-one would notice its broken lock and almost pointless existence, having been superseded by newer, funkier styles. Part of an old stacking system with separate speakers, with integrated CD player and turntable, had clearly had its heyday back in the 1990's but now slumped against the wall, lifeless, lonely and unloved. A dusty A2 leather art portfolio, chosen and bought for me by my dad when I started A-Level Art, tucked into a corner, awaiting the moment when I remembered the times we'd spent together in the early nineties and desperately hoping I'd fall in love with it again.
Once I'd cleared out all of the remnants of various pieces of coloured and textured glass from the depths (following a temporary diversion in the early 2000's in the form of an evening class in stained glass art), I carefully dislodged a wadge of assorted paper and began to leaf through it...
It's quite amazing how the brain can remember a wide range of things, when prompted by smells, sounds, taste, touch, or sight. An art class visit to Kew Gardens, sitting in one of the large greenhouses drawing plants while listening to the radio on my personal stereo hearing about the outbreak of the first Gulf War; dyeing my hair black and wearing the obligatory hippy purple and black velvet skirts from my favourite shop, Saffron Moon, feeling like a grown up but mostly still like a child. The portfolio and I shared a special time in my life when everything was new, exciting, full of optimism and dreams, a time when I had responded rather well to the tutors at college, and produced a range of work that I now look back upon with wonder - why didn't I carry on?
Just for fun, here is a sample of some of the good bits I'd unearthed during the clear-out. You'll be pleased to know that the portfolio has received a jolly good clean and is brimming with excitement at rekindling our little romance, finding out what we've been up to over the last 30 years or so, and embracing more of my best work...so far. I love a happy ending.