Sunday, December 23, 2007

Homage to George

Yesterday afternoon George's shop down the road closed down - George is retiring. 'Passing Buys' was a treasure trove, packed with weird and wonderful stuff. Film and theatre people came to Eastbourne to buy period costumes, fabrics and accessories, collectors of everything - books, maps, postcards, medals, music, jewellery, badges and knickknacks of all kinds - were regular visitors. Everybody loved George's shop - my friends and family from abroad took photos and purchased souvenirs. I often dropped in for a chat on my way to the supermarket or post office and had a rummage through boxes and drawers. Like other artist collectors who frequented George's shop, I was always on the lookout for odds and ends that nobody else wanted: scraps of fabric, torn lace, odd buttons, old patterns and labels, rusty needles and other haberdashery bits and pieces. When I asked George for old hats, he disappeared in the back and brought out bin bags full of the most incredible hats many of which eventually made their way to Germany to feature in an art installation. Other items have re-emerged in my book works, textile narratives and of course in 'The Textile Files.'


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