Sometimes it’s good to look back at what you’ve done, and sometimes it’s just good to get rid of it.
Recently I had to disassemble the flat file I use for storage and I decided to take the opportunity to purge some things I’ve accumulated over the years.
When I was in university I discovered the surplus property department was selling an oak architectural plan cabinet. Imagine my delight to be the winning bid with $35! Well, admittedly it had no top, one of the drawer corners had been sheered off, and one drawer was from a different cabinet and had to be modified. But it worked, and that was the main thing.
I immediately set about filling it up.
That was more than a few years ago and recently I’ve been having trouble with some drawers sticking or not working at all. So it was time.
When I finally got one of the drawers out that had been hard to budge, I discovered the little nylon roller had sheared off. Luckily, with my husband’s help, we were able to fix it.
Since I had to take the drawers out anyway, I decided to get rid of some old drawings and paintings that, while part of my development as an artist, were things I’d never show again.
Now I feel like I do just after getting a haircut. Much lighter!
I know artists who regularly destroy old work or periodically have bonfires of good work because they run out of storage space. I once read that Jasper Johns destroyed all his old work before launching into his flag and target paintings. What do you think about this practice?