Home Sweet Home
Works from the
Peter Fay collection
11 October 18 January 2004
oil on canvas
45.2 X 54.8 cm
PF This is a piece called Pink, by Pat Thompson, an English lady, and I was living in Leeds and had shown very little interest in the visual arts in a career of teaching, and I was hurrying home and came upon this picture in an exhibition of works by WEA people, hierarchically arranged so the winners were all at one end, and the so-called ‘losers’ were at the other end.
And there at the end of the line was this woman showing this one particular work, and I just fell in love with it immediately, and had to cancel my plans of returning; missed the bus; came back and engaged her in conversation.
She couldn’t believe that anyone wanted to buy it, and kept pushing me – wanting me to go higher up in the line where all the ‘winners’ were. And I said ‘no, the others are extraordinarily bad, I think…’
But this is a piece that has always hung in my home, and when I faced the bushfires in 1994, with a policeman knocking on the door saying I had ten minutes to get out of the house, I took three objects with me and Pink was the first thing into the car, so it does have that special affection, but also now I look back on it. There’s so much in it; in it’s apparent sort of madness; apparent randomness; in its colour; in its line, that it is so in tune I think, with a lot of the collection, so I’m sure the psychologists could go overboard in working out where the sickness set in.
But it’s still a very affectionate piece, and the wonderful piece of conversation I had with the artist was when I enquired about it, because I tried to sort of make head nor tail of were these bodies in a bed, or were they standing – were they curtains or were they bedspreads – or whatever – wherever you went around the work you seemed to get a different reading.
I said ‘Ohh, Pat, why didn’t you paint any hands or feet?’ – on these particular bodies, and she just said to me ‘The night that they did hands and feet I was sick.’
I thought ‘Oh God, you weren’t feeling too good the night they did perspective, or whatever it might be, but it’s a work I’ve really grown very fond of’.