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 featured, one side of the bag recalls how mint imperials were always found loose at the bottom on one mother’s bag – a sweet, albeit smudged and dusty, pretty much guaranteed!
The other side panel story in red is a great story about how one woman carried a packet of cigarettes in her brand new first ever bag for 2 years – although the packet was empty and she didnt smoke – the reason she carried the packet round was just because she thought that was what a young woman kept in her bag as well as a luscious pink lipstick!
The inner lining I printed straight off an email onto linen and this tells the story of Annie and how, whatever the weather, wherever she travelled, whatever the ache or pain, the bag came out and contained everything, literally everything, needed to get from A – B, country to country, doctors to dentists.