Retrospective: re-imagining the past

In 2004 I went to Edinburgh to see the major retrospective show “Paolozzi at 80” at The Dean Gallery. Eduardo Paolozzi was a major early influence and, although his work is shown regularly, it is rare to see so much of it together.

Reviews of the show:

It was a very good show and upstairs was a gallery of “early work” including some juvenilia as well as a drawing of himself aged 11. The drawing is listed in the catalogue as “Self-portrait c.1935, Pencil and blue crayon on paper.” Paolozzi has signed it but the title has been added by a curator at sometime later once he had become an established artist. I could’t help feeling this is slightly ridiculous, it’s just a child’s drawing, but it led me to reassess my own work as the output of a whole life rather than suppressing the early doodles, the naive cul-de-sacs and the embarrassing failures, and only concentrating on the more successful and mature “serious” stuff.

Above is a self-portrait of mine from 1988.

As a result, I have decided to catalogue and publish my entire life’s output (so far), warts and all. Well, not absolutely everything, but a representative catalogue from childhood through to maturity. I have been very productive (on and off) although most of my work has never been seen. I will be 50 in 2014 and need to make a start.

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