Text by Jenni Dutton explaining her proposal for a proposed MfOR exhibition in 2018.
For the past few years I have been systematically culling a lot of my possessions.
I am making a virtue of it to my friends, who often lament their accumulated stuff. There is a defiance about the way I relish the process.
They are impressed and I am now known for my fierceness in facing up to the task. I feel smug that I won’t have to do it when I am older.
Now I am wondering, how much older? I am already 66.
My mother died a couple of years ago, but I had cleared her house way before that, to make way for tenants who helped to fund her stay in the care home.
I have a very few of her possessions, only the small stuff, some valuable but mostly not. I come from an army family, we were never encouraged to hoard possessions. My home is small, it has my accumulated stuff and some of my daughters and most importantly contains my studio space.
Recently I needed a passport, I hadn’t renewed this important document, for 15 years. I kept putting it off. For those 15 years I was looking out for my mum and my daughter, my focus was on them. I didn’t feel the need to travel.
Is a passport an object? I have kept all the old ones.
As a way of exploring self and identity I am making paintings of the 6 passport photos.
The portraits then have selected objects painted in the foreground. The objects are related to the time span of the passports. They are items of significance, but just ordinary things.
Jenni Dutton’s recent post on the MfOR blog explains more Is a Passport an Object?