Curator of Memories

Last week I learnt more things about WordPress, about the Elementor widget (thanks Ben from Wayfarer Publishing and Media, love your work) and about how I’ve enjoyed wrangling words for so long. I’d not realised it’s a basic part of who I am. 

I found these words on a page here, hidden at the end of the painting menu, in full sight. The page is a collection of artwork I wanted keep visible on the website once I deleted their pages. 

In the current climate, (April 2020, two weeks into the lockdown) the artist statement on this page, written three years ago, seemed to carry more meaning than originally intended.  So I’ve reposted it below, and commented on it in this blog, as a reminder about the nature of change, and the importance of memory, especially in these troubling times. 

Each painting, in its lifetime, moves through the arc of inspiration, perspiration, appreciation, until it ends up on a wall somewhere.
Or not. There’s at least one artwork from each series that I seriously consider not selling. Those particular ones I make sure go to really good homes, on the proviso that I can visit. In my spare bedroom, on top of the wardrobe, is a small collection of paintings that were never sold. Don’t tell anyone!

In reality, once the paintings leave here I seldom see them again.
Sometimes I’m visiting friends and see one of my paintings in their collection. There’s a startling shock of familiarity. It’s like seeing an old friend. I want to stop and chat and find out how the years have been for them, and share mine. 

Painting is a very personal thing.
The time I spend on-site, and in the studio  feeds a relationship to a particular place. But in a world where technological transience is 
de rigour – not for nothing do we have “Insta-gram” – whole bodies of work recorded on web-pages can disappear with the click of a mouse. I’m in charge of the mouse clicks in my house, but for all the need for editorial alertness, I don’t want to forget the time spent on a project.

A photo of Christine Porter holding up a sketchbook of the shearing shed she appears to be standing in. A big smile

This practice of mine is not about record and forget.
It’s about remembering. Remembering place, and places, as well as the people I met and time I spent there.  

Nor is this collection a crafted archive.
It’s curated with a certain randomness. Like memory itself, it will negotiate the past as it sees fit. And like memory, permanence is only ever a tick-tock mouse-click away from delete.

Christine Porter November 2017

‘Bucket’ 2016. watercolour and body colour, 9x9cm Sold.

(Did this win a prize at Gundy, where I’m sure it sold.
Memory, don’t abandon me, you fickle thing)

A Selection of Other Posts For You

Christine Porter Blog Oct2018 Judging Children's Art about how to make art judging a positive thing

Judging Children’s Art

Six years ago, in September 2012, I was the judge of the first Holy Name School Art Show. Judging children’s art is always problematic, so this blog, which is a transcript of my opening night speech, addresses issues of competing and being an artist, even at primary school age. It gives advice to children and their parents’, that is relevant to all artists.

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Why Variety adds Spice

They say that getting out of one’s comfort zone is “good for you”. I say that Variety – yes, capital letter there for emphasis – in whatever form, is the spice of life.

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