In Freud’s Coat, Paul Coldwell illustrated his preoccupations with the transformation of the familiar objects of everyday life and the poignant effect of their transportation through emigration.
I have been using imagery which explores the idea of a journey and how we use objects to establish ourselves and our identity. I want to suggest how objects anchor our lives in spite of any displacement or upheaval that we might encounter.
The exhibition focused on a bookwork entitled Freud’s Coat along with two new sculptures, made specifically for the Freud Museum. In the sculpture, The Arrival, the sense of pathos attached to the packing of items for a safe journey is evoked. References, mementoes, displayed in the wall case, suggests a kind of history of desires and aspirations contained in the form of books.
The bookwork took the object of Freud’s coat, which was bought for his journey to London, as a central motif and sets it against images of objects from his collection of antiquities and prints. These were woven together, using the computer, with drawings and photographs suggesting a personal life in parallel with an almost oppressive sense of history.
A Note on the Exhibition
by Paul Coldwell
The ideas of identity and journey have been central to my work over a number of years. I have been concerned to evoke the presence of a person through the association with objects and to suggest the priorities that we establish in our lives through these objects. In this work made specifically for the Freud Museum I have responded to both the presence of Freud in the rooms and objects as well as the fact that he had to flee Austria in 1938 and establish himself in London.
For the bookwork I have taken the object of Freuds coat, which was made for his journey to London, as a central motif and set it against images of heads taken from his collection of antiquities and engravings. These, I have been woven together using the computer, with drawings and photographs of other objects, to suggest a personal life in parallel with an almost oppressive sense of history. The Bookwork has been made as part of the Book Arts Research Project at Camberwell College of Art in association with the Freud Museum.
In the sculpture The Arrival I wanted to suggest the sense of pathos attached to the packing chosen items to ensure a same journey. I have made structures in the form of a house, open book, ironing board, bottle and suitcase. These function as cases to contain these items and are padded with felt to protect their contents.