Ruth Geldard explains her work for the Museum’s future exhibition.
My proposal is to explore the relationship and associated behaviour; emotional and physical, between a handbag and its owner/wearer (pdf link) .
I recently wrote a blog about my process in a post called Open Carry: An Exploration into our Attachment to the handbag and Related Behaviour. Part 1.
Previous work, has often referenced, but not explicitly, the body. To this end I wanted to begin by recording physical manifestations of the wearer, in terms of wear and fade and creases, as they appear on the bag. I am also interested in the possibility of the idea of a psychic distance, that connects bag and wearer. To do this I plan to treat the object, in anthropomorphic terms and have set up portrait, sessions where a bag is brought to my studio by its owner, side-lit, and drawn or painted, exactly as I would for a human/animal sitter. I have noticed a collective habit of keeping a handbag at a certain (safe?) distance in the public domain and a physical awareness of its exact location. * I am also interested in the possibility of a psychic distance, between bag and wearer that operates across time. Working informally on the bag portraits, will be an opportunity to observe and record behaviour and to look for commonalities of experience.