The myth that, in those halcyon days when summers were always warm, kids roamed the streets from dawn ’til dusk popping home only for tea is true: that was my childhood.
For a precious few years in the early ’70s, I had the freedom to explore, discover and experience my corner of the world, pushing ever further as confidence unfurled. Armed with marbles and conkers, fishing rod, football and half-penny chews, I’d set off aboard my trusty bike to horizons new beyond the end of my road.
Inspired by the Bash Street Kids and Dennis the Menace – my two-dimensional heroes – I got into scrapes, played pranks, larked about and tested my limits. Mischief, adventure and danger all crossed my path but, surviving unscathed, my independent spirit and curiosity were cast.
This is where I am from, a time as much as a place. And yes, the summers were always warm.
The creative process for this project was as exploratory as my childhood wanderings. Firstly, jot down all my strongest memories of the first house I lived in, then simplify to location/description/memory. Next position them according to my recollection of distance and direction and let the ‘map’ build itself. At some point I realised this was a map of a time as much as a place and the necessity for detail disappeared. Yes, I could join the dots but the essence of each memory would be lost in a sea of distracting information.