One of the nicest things I do with the Proles is the rolling display of ‘art’ around the house.

During an office move there were a series of picture frames that were up for grabs so with no real thought behind it I nabbed them.

Now every once in a while I take some of the landslide of ‘art’ the boys bring home and put it in the frames.

The frames are relatively large when compared to A4 paper so often one picture will act as a back drop for another or images will montage slightly as I cram them in to fill up the frame.

Being low on critical faculties the Proles don’t mind this so much.

Sometimes I need a little help in curation.

Prole1’s “picture of active sloth’ was presented in conjunction with ‘harbour scene’.
In itself  this was not considered a problem, after all, as Prole1 pointed out, they were both fairly brown.
The problem occurred in that the ‘harbour scene’ went into the frame the wrong way up.
Following the minute detailing of the image and the original intention by the artist I took it down, took the picture out, got distracted by the washing, went back and placed the picture upside down again.

Prole1 patted my hand.

Prole1: If you like it that way up Dad, you keep it that way up.

Then he kissed my forehead and went to spread patronising joy to the rest of the house.

In the hallway there is a small rectangular hole in the wall, this is where the door handle used to go when the door was opened fully.
Nowadays the door is double glazed plastic and I don’t think they really considered the architecture of Redruth when they constructed it.
The hole is no longer used and so we put a small picture frame around it and use it as a temporary display case for small sculptures and more three dimensional pieces.

It is no Tate Turbine Hall but the Proles can on occasion exceed all expectations.
“All the green lego” was a challenging installation, ‘my clay crocodile’ was a  psychedelic  exhibit and we are seeing the return of ‘snail money box’ by Prole2 at the moment.
There is a small piece of paper in there with his name on.

Prole2: So people know I did it.

Me: Great, why is there a picture of a castle on the paper?

Prole2: Extra art. More fun.

Me: Oh, yes of course.

The celebration of their ‘artwork’ is in a way to salve my own conscience.
As I have said elsewhere, ‘art’ comes in through the door at an alarming rate.

What to do with this landslide of mutilated paper and card is a real dilemma.

The Proles put heart and soul into their work, they can tell you all the tiny details of the process and their thinking.
This can be useful most of the time because it is hard to see if any thinking were part of the process at all.

They bring this stuff home and say things like: Here you go Dad, I did this specially for you.

And I can see in their eyes that I am holding their dream. A dream that this piece of work will make me happy. That this picture, dawned in paint and slightly crumpled, will in some way make my life complete.

I have seen the sort of thing they get me for Christmas, even with a chaperone, they have no idea what I might like.
But it is written all over their faces that they think, or rather believe with every quivering fibre of their being, that I love this stuff.

What to do when you hold so many dreams?

Well, not so much hold as stuff them under the stairs.
We have so much ‘art’ under the stairs a fire officer would have a fit.
Fortunately it is so thick with paint and glue I believe it may be th last thing to go up if the house burns down.

What to do?

There is a slow process of ‘retirement’, as you would imagine, but I am nervous of the shattered dream.

I am being glib about this of course but I do love it all as well.
The bright eyes as they talk about the current piece and they la it out o the table for me to look at.
It is wonderful.

But I can’t keep it all. I can’t really keep even a fraction of what they bring home.

My house is stuffed with so much of the past I cannot really afford to keep much more.

I have to clear back for the future.

I have to be brutal with painted pictures, squash clay models, tiny trousers, forgotten toys, worn out shoes, little tiny gloves, faded t shirts and first bicycles.

I don’t have tiny weeny little boys any more.
Riding the leading edge of their growth is like surfing on the front of an emotional wave, I have to be responsive and keep up or I will go under.

I have to take moments and images and artefacts where I can but leave the path clear for the future.
It is a small collection but it tis a vital one.
I am not just being sentimental.

I could clear it all out of course but then if they ceased to be for any reason, how could I ever get it back?

How will I know they were here?