“This is my father’s drawing box.
It’s commonly used as fishing tackle box but he adapted it and used it to keep his drawing tools in.
It had his name Steve on the front. I have been using it now and the name is still just legible.
Art was the main thing throughout his life. He had this box when he and I were trying to revive the Paddington art school. He taught drawing there for 20 years.
I was thirty years old before I really got to know my Dad.
There was one particular day when I nearly didn’t go to see him but fortunately I turned my bike around and just went off to see him anyway. And that was the last time I saw him alive.
He was living with constant pain and the only creative response he could manage to his dilemma was to take his own life.
It’s like the love I had for my Dad transferred into his objects so I had a great thirst to get his things to safety- this box and his drawings.
I remember the best of my Dad as I open the box.
It’s a workman’s toolkit. I even love the smell of it.
It has pastels wrapped up and an amazing Swiss-made holder for pencil lead.
When I hold these things I connect with them having been in his hands.
When I open it up I can sense him as a working artist. I sense his presence.
And then I feel like I am working, too.
This box of items represent potential, inspiration and aspiration. It even surpasses, in terms of containing potency, the drawings that I have of his, I think because I can hold it and use it.
When I open it up there is the excitement of tapping into potential again.”