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Legacy

'Why make drawings like these when we have cameras?'

My parents house is one of those large bungalows with a well cared for garden. It also has the large double garage that, like so many others, serves in part as an overflow store for my family's past possessions. In my parent's garage, this includes a large stock of DIY materials, DIY tools and an ever-expanding collection of salvaged elements from broken objects that 'one-day' will be re-used. At the far end of the garage, seamlessly integrated with this supply (or perhaps inextricably entangled with it), is my father's workspace. On one particular visit home I found myself foraging amongst these supplies searching for a particular artefact, recalled by my paternal quartermaster, as being stored for just this very eventuality. But it wasn't long before I became distracted by other items from my past and entered into the reverie of a daydream.

Here in this ordinary garage I could feel so clearly how all of the tools and materials carried with them my father's presence. The stacks of timber, the never to be re-used components, the dust and the cobwebs, the once organised and softly rusting collections of screws, nails and bolts (all conforming to a private unwritten taxonomy). Together, all of these things created a kind of reverse facsimile of my father - the space that they encircled and the meanings that they held all implied him with a vividness that was moving and which I realised I would not want to lose. And yet, standing there on my own in the cool dimness it was clear that at some point in the future all of this would need to be sorted out ('thrown away' if I could bear to say it). It was unsettling to realise that this reassuring touchstone for home and my past self would not in fact always be here.

Whilst I shudder at those fearfully awkward shrines to memories, where everything must be kept 'exactly as it was', I also knew that I had to find some way to hold onto this part of my past. So I began to make the drawings. After all, "One day son, none of this will be yours!".