Once again these small pieces (6"x4") have surfaced. I can't quite seem to move them into the charity shop box...
These riffs on edifying mottos from samplers were made about 15 years ago, in a burst of wild spontaneity. Couching on scraps of silk dupion. The words are:
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent
What is unsought will be undetected
The appetite grows by eating
One day ... not just yet ... I shall take them out of the clip frames and use them for notebook covers. One day, when they can be united with a bagful of precut pages that are somewhere in this room and will emerge in the fullness of time (ie the two weeks remaining for it to be sorted out) - then the sections will be sewn together and the cover made. (The books to be given as presents, and found "too good to use"?)
The sorting out of my studio(s) brings up, yet again, that big question: what to do with old work? Finished work and samples both. What to do with it all when has it outlived its usefulness - and should it be disposed of just because it's no longer "useful"?
It's hard not to "personify" pieces of creative output - they become our children. Can we simply discard them? Yet, when drastically downsizing, what's the point of keeping all this stuff? For many of us, the greatest part of creative pleasure isn't the finished object, it's the process of making - of seeing the work evolve through our thoughts and under our hands. Rather like helping a child grow up. At which point they leave home ... our job is (almost) done.
Hmm, pursuing this comparison, I'm straying into confusing the work-as-child with the mother having outlived her usefulness. A murky area! But perhaps some of what keeps us from letting go of our old work is rooted in that emotional arena. An investment of time and energy and love, made tangible in the object. Which, if it no longer exists, is a personal loss.
Yet we do withstand losses. Less personal losses can be seen as trade-offs: remove extra furniture, however beloved, and gain necessary space. Give up the expensive holiday and you're able to use the money for something else. Everyday decisions; first-world problems.
So, there's this body of "old work" that no longer represents what you're interested in. Clean sweep, start afresh? One door closes and another opens?
Or hang on to it, "just in case"?