The things that go unspoken

Felicity Shum 10 years ago

The things I should have said a long time ago, at the beginning of this project, I believe the phrase is 'better late than never'...

One of the few things I like more than receiving a letter in the post is sending ‘brown paper packages tied up with string’. Or indeed parcels wrapped in old military maps, with 1940s luggage labels used as address stickers. A hand written letter feels much more personal than an email. Yes, I am definitely old fashioned compared to my peers. I like how clunky a typewriter feels, I secretly like queuing up in the post office and I think the Royal Mail is an undervalued institution. I think it is this part of my personality that enjoys to sit in a dimly lit gallery and draw, that relishes putting on my wellies and apron to go to the print room, that thinks the day has been a success when I go home in the dark excited about the prints I’ve worked on and unaware that I have unwittingly dyed my ear orange during the course of the day.

I like the feel of pulling dye through a silk screen and the knowledge that the tiny squeegee in my pocket will be needed to print on the bias binding that will complete my design. And the knowledge that scrubbing the screen clean will enable me to produce something entirely new. I like the satisfaction of drafting a pattern, of hand stitching a label or the tiny details I’ve laboured over that others may not even register. I am delighted to have been awarded a place on the AA2A scheme, I will experiment in the print room on paper and cloth. My project will be inspired by old military uniforms, early aircrafts, sailing ships, the art of correspondence, the delicacy of Victorian stitches and the preciousness of memories.