Do you enjoy looking through old photograph albums? Remembering old friends and relatives no more with us?
Recently I went back home for my Parent’s 60th wedding anniversary and I enjoyed looking into their photo albums. I am lucky that they could tell me stories of the people I did not recognize, but then suddenly Margherita appeared in one of the albums! I remember her!
Suddenly I was transported to her top floor apartment, in a summer afternoon, and after the usual drink of cold Grenadine, climbing the last flight of stairs to the roof terrace. The sun hit me with force and we would go and find the cages for the carrier pigeons and bring them food, and then sit down listening to her telling us about her birds.
She was a retired colleague of my father’s at the bank and she didn’t have any relatives, so we “adopted” her as an Aunty. I remember that once we were going to Israel and she was sad not to ever having visited the Christian sites there, so she asked them to light a candle at the Holy Sepulcher, and they did even if it was not our faith and it felt a bit strange!
This is an example of the values my parents taught my sister and me: look after the old and lonely!
So it fitted with my recent body of work that I tried to make her portrait in clay.
I particularly wanted to show her benign and smiling nature, her lovely hat, but I have omitted the ever present cigarette!