Is it because I am a second child and learned from the word go to make do with stuff that had been owned, used and sometime even loved by others before me, or is it that in the seventies my mother taught me to salvage things discarded by rich neighbours, the thing is I have a natural penchant for recycling, I am a natural at giving rusty metal pieces a loving home, or keeping—like my grandmother before me—anything that might prove useful in later life.
I thus made the most of the few days that my children went away on their own pursuits and got myself accepted on a residency up north, working with US craft-artist Boris Bally and discarded road signs in the hope that some public seating for the town of Derry might emerge out of the equation.
I had a lot of fun with plugged-in big machines, learned to file properly, drooled over some lovely tools, acquired some skills that may even prove useful for my everyday life.
In the age of wall-to-wall advertising, of being told what we want by others so that we all succumb to mass desire of identical industrialised products, it is lovely to be able to find real value in what has been discarded, the gizzards and bones of other peoples’ expensive meals so to speak, and perchance turn “refuse” into very treasurable stuff. In a word, I enjoyed myself enormously.