my mother’s bag

This latest project concerns memories of a handbag that belonged to someone’s mother or grandmother. I used to love peering into my Mum’s bag, investigating all the bits and bobs(with permission of course!) and looking longingly at the gold tube of Rimmel Coral lipstick – thinking how great it would be when I had my very own bag and lipstick. I also remember too, how helping yourself to things in my Mum’s bag was a real no no – and that you weren’t allowed to rifle through it – if there was something in there that we needed, we’d have to fetch the bag for my Mum to root through herself. I still do that a bit today, my bag is like my own private cupboard with zips and pockets hiding mysterious bits and pieces (of rubbish usually, important rubbish of course) …my bag is also a visual indicator of my mind…by that I mean when my bag is loaded and heavy with papers, receipts, lists, lipbalms, loose change etc, although I know everything in there is safe, I also know that things are getting jumbled and confused in my mind. Every now and then I tip out my bag and reorder things back into their proper places ie: change in my ‘Elvis’ clasp purse, receipts ordered ready to file, credit cards neatly arranged in order of overdraft size. So this project brought together various stories submitted from other people about their mother’s bag, I took my favourite stories and reconstructed a new bag from the leather and linings from my defunct summer bag. There are 3 main stories...

welcome from Julia O’Connell

Hi and thanks for dropping in. My area of practice is in textiles, I’m interested in deconstructing and reconstructing garments, like old or found clothes. I’ve included some photos of my early work. These pieces were made after I’d emailed people to ask them about their most favourite or hated garments from their past. From the recollections I received, I then reinterpreted the stories into new textile artefacts, using hand and machine stitch. Its facinating to hear about someone’s favourite dress or their mother’s old leather gloves etc. I also love the way in which they recount the memory and the choice of words used. I’m always on the look out for new projects so if you have a memory of a particular garment whether it belonged to you or another then I’d love it if you would share that here. Try and describe the piece, the colour and texture if you can and things like the smell even! I always remember the inside of my Mum’s bag, it smelled of her favourite perfume Intimate, by Yardley I think, and it’s scent had infused the lining of the bag. Tell me why you liked/or hated the garment, perhaps there was something that happened when you wore it, or a particular event etc. Whatever memory you have I look forward to your stories. And if you just want to comment on my work, then please leave me a...