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Bags of History

This morning I had cause to go through some things in the bottom of a cupboard. I think most people probably have the same kind of cupboard….you know the type I mean; the place where ‘things’ get stored because you have no real use for them, yet it doesn’t seem quite right to get rid of them altogether. In my exploration of the various items that over the years have made it into the category of ‘bottom of the cupboard’, I came across an old bag. I’ve always liked bags and I remember on numerous occasions over the years heading out to buy a new bag for work. When I say ‘work’, I’m talking about the days before I was a photographer. It was always more difficult than you’d imagine- finding a bag that met all my practical requirements yet didn’t just look like a ‘practical’ bag, and so not only do my old bags remind me of the various jobs I’ve been in but also of the places the bags were bought from. One work bag I once had, for example, was bought in Spain. No, I didn’t go over there to specifically buy a bag for work, but when you’re fussy over bags you have to just buy one when you see one, because you know all to your frustration that it could literally be years before the right bag presents itself again.

I thought I’d take a photo of the couple of work bags I came across in ‘the cupboard where things reside’ and because I wanted the photo for this blog post I reached for my digital camera. Then I remembered I’d got an old instant film cartridge hanging around for my Contax 645, and it had just one shot left in it, and as it had been hanging around in the instant film back for a while, I figured that I might get a few wacky effects on the film and so now was as good a time as ever to use it up. It seemed fitting to use up an old bit of instant film on a shot of my old work bags. It’s almost like old life (the bags) meets new (my career as a professional photographer), despite the fact that the film has probably seen better days. So here are my bags. They saw me through many years and brightened many a day just by being more than a ‘practical’ bag. We tend not to keep clutter in the house but I think there are some things worth keeping just as a piece of history, to remind you of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. And for that, we all need that bit in the bottom of the cupboard where we can put ‘things.’

(N.B. the green bits are of course not present on our kitchen tiles in reality…it’s the wacky effects of the instant film that should’ve been used long ago!)


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