Before the event I was talking to a friend (K) about how I wanted to use an old suitcase to display my work in and around. K immediately told me of an old suitcase that I could have.. she went on to tell me about this old suitcase in the her apartment buildings basement storage. She tells me that the suitcase has been there for years and years along with a ton of other crap left behind by years of previous tenants. The landlord planned to get rid of everything in the basement and K said I should come have a look.
In the basement I see a large suitcase that was underneath an upside down coffee table. I had to climb over some old bikes to try and pull it out from the rubble. The suitcase didn't have a handle any longer so it was awkward and somewhat stuck. I pulled and pulled and finally got it out. We took the case up to her apartment and opened it. This is what we found:
The suitcase was full of an array of things.. it was a little intriguing and odd wrapped up in one. There was a grooming travel case (unused), many packets of carbon paper, an envelope full of loose paper with writing on it, 2 full journals, 3 tobacco pipes, pipe cleaners, flints, and other pipe hardware, a paper bag that contained a very heavy metal/cement barb looking thing.. and a couple other random things.
Below is the barb looking thing.. it is super heavy!
The travel groom kit
Pipes and such...(the bag has tobacco in it)
Everything was pretty old and tattered.
At first I was a bit weirded out by the whole thing.. this used to belong to someone and they took the time to pack all this up for some strange reason. Not to mention it wasn't just "stuff" it was the persons journals.. someone sat down and consciously wrote out what was on their mind. The journals start in the late 60's as far as I can tell.
I emptied the contents of the suitcase into a box in my garage and cleaned it up to use at the show. I read a couple entries of the first journal. The outside of the journal had the name "Thomas Edward Francis Sevine" on it. From what I can tell so far.. the guy may have lived in that building and was a musician/artist that went to a ton of music events. I didn't really have the time to investigate further.. but I'm going to read through them and try to figure out more of a mystery that fell into my lap.
I had the thought that this person may still be alive.. so I googled the name with no results other than the Thomas Edward Francis the famous landscape painter that died in 1961.
and yes... I used the case for my art event... and had many, many compliments on it and the display. I used an old rope and fashioned into a handle for it and attached my business card to it. I plan on continuing to use it... why not. If the guy was truly an artist.. I don't think he would mind what I'm using it for.
stay tuned for more on this...