Just before his death, Steve remarked that if 100 people came to his funeral, they would bury 100 Steves. It is an idea that has intrigued me ever since. Can we be objective about the past or do we always have our own subjective present tense agendas that we impose upon it?
I finish with a favourite example of the beautiful unreliability of family folklore, the inspiration for my artwork Crossing the Wall. I was told that whenever a Communist Party comrade travelled to Moscow in the '20s, they took Agatha Christies and Alka Seltzers for Great Aunt Lillian (Lillian and her husband had moved to the USSR after the revolution). My Aunt Judith declares it was Milk of Magnesia, while Auntie Ruth says Dr. J Collis Browne's Chlorodyne and neither remember any mention of crime fiction. However I am the teller of this tale and the comrade in my etching is taking Agatha Christies and Alka-Seltzers to Lillian. Firstly because I love the alliteration and secondly because the irony of young Lillian taking time out from building the new Soviet State to read about country house murders is just too good not to pass on...
1. Steve Hornibrook with Princess Diana, 1990
2. Shared Among the Daughters, Photo-Etching 325mm x 540mm, 2012
3. Crossing The Wall, Photo-Etching & Spitbite 450mm x 560mm, 2011