A Package from the Past
Richard Bell's Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Wednesday, 14th November, 2007
AS A STUDENT, while researching the life of the composer William Baines, I went down to London on several occasions to look through the manuscripts in the British Museum. Bundles of diaries, magazines and photographs were brought to my table, wrapped in buff paper. These were from the museum's collection of 'additional manuscripts' but I was able to use my reader's ticket on a few subsequent occasions to visit the famous reading room, so, for a few hours at least, I sat in the room where Karl Marx, Virginia Woolf and many others once worked.
This bundle is from my own archives; it contains my childhood/teenage notebooks to which I gave the ambitious title Exercise Book Encyclopaedia. The first dates from junior school days, the last from my days at art college.
It's been interesting recently to take a brief look at my work from student days, it makes me see what I'm doing now in a different perspective. It's so obvious to me now which was my best work at the time but I expect I had to try all those different approaches.
It makes me more sure of the way I'd like to take my work now.