When Jennifer and I agreed to make the first of our monthly themes a self portrait, it sounded like a great way to introduce the project and ourselves. Trouble is, when you sit down to create a portrait of yourself, you’ve got to decide exactly who you are (today), and who you want to portray.
So, I was on the road when this project began. In Italy, I woke up in Rome after a long dream-like dark night flight from Australia, to Bangkok, and finally to Rome.
Monday morning, 7AM, and we are pushing through rush-hour traffic from the airport; the streets get narrower, our taxi gets lost, and finally we get out to walk in golden-stuccoed streets to the hotel, which we’ve spied down a one-way lane. In Rome.
Jet lag is confusing at the best of times. I’m up at 4AM in this city of myths and legends, ancient hero-city, full of images. I’m trying to sketch an idea for a portrait: it’s daunting. Should I draw my features as close as possible to reality? Do I do one of my cartoon Bev-portraits, a familiar thing but not exactly challenging? What about a theme-portrait: an image that represents all the things I am and that make up me, at the moment: my stitching, my writing, my love for my husband and family, my dog, the fun of travel, and art – always art.
When I travel, the things around me that make it easy to define who I am – they fall away. What’s left is the bubble that I carry around: if it’s constant everywhere, it must be me.
I decide that somehow, this is what I will sew: a portrait of the person who is always there, looking out, all the time.
I’m going to find her by traveling, looking at new places while keeping an internal eye open for what remains the same. Using the world as my mirror. I’m curious to see who will turn up!