As part of my retrospective I am attempting to finish off some stalled, abandoned or otherwise delayed projects.
No Glove Lost is a project I conceived back in 2007. I had become fascinated by lost gloves and began photographing them in-situ whenever I found them. One of the people I was studying with at the time pointed out to me, with rather poisonous glee, that someone had already created a blog recording lost gloves, and I must admit this stopped me in my tracks. At least it stopped me at that time.
Regular readers will know that I attempt to resist the preciousness of trying to own an idea. This partly stems back to my first visit to the Centre Georges Pompidou (circa 2001) when I was particularly struck how pretty much everything has already been done, often 100 years ago.
For example, in the late 1990s, I was creating mock packages of imagined medications and I only found out later that Damien Hirst had been doing the same thing, and doing it better, at about the same time. I have had many “brilliant” ideas, only to be disappointed that someone else was being more brilliant than me, and earlier.
Let’s face it, it’s a bit late to be re-inventing cubism, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add something to its gamut.
Although I can’t actually remember which was the first of the glove collections that I saw, I think it might have been this one that dates back to 2005. This is maintained by photographer Sarah Cole who is also based in Sheffield, and she includes a list of links to other glove-spotters.
This café in Berlin has an exhibition of lost gloves, waiting to be reunited with their owners.
And here is a Google map of lost gloves in Copenhagen.
Artist Stuart Brisley made a sculpture in 1983 called “1=66,666” which features a rather fetishy re-filling of (I believe to be discarded) gloves hanging in a cage, and I wish I had done that.
Anyway, it turns out I am not the only one to find these soiled and potentially intimate items of clothing to be car-crash fascinating. This universal phenomenon has been observed numerous times all over the world.
At the time I first had the idea, I was studying an MA in Contemporary Fine Art (never completed) at Sheffield Hallam University and my tutor was Nick Stewart, now Programme Leader & Reader in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art. In a tutorial with him, he suggested creating video that showed me examining the gloves, but at the time, I was resistant to making video as I had already made so much, although I took his point.
I also had a tutorial with artist Doris Frohnapfel, a visiting lecturer, and I showed her the photographs. She told me that, had it been her, she would have taken the gloves away and made something out of them. That had never occurred to me before. But it has now.
Anyway, I have decided to resurrect the idea and finish off what I started. I had the original idea independently and I still like it, so I will be photographing and collecting gloves over the coming winter months, between the autumn and spring equinoxes.
But what can I do to add something? Well, maybe I should swallow my pride and take the advice of artists more mature than myself and take it further than just the photographs. There is a blog where each glove will be recorded with a new entry. It’s not a daily project and is very open.
It will rely upon wherever I go and whatever I find, so stay tuned…