“Fear clutches my b’reast” said Daffy-Duck in one of his best cartoons. The phrase stuck with our family and was added to the growing number of phrases forming our own unique family dialect.
This was different however, “It’s a clutch” the friendly motor oil covered warehouse assistant said.
“Really” I said? The peddle which I press on my elderly stick shift operated vehicle to change gear bore no resemblance in my mind to the metal object which lay before me.
It was however, beautiful. Herein lies the fascination for me. When we consider sculpture we often think of three dimensional works formed to evoke something beyond the mere substance from which they are created. Often there is a symbolic or a conceptual angle the sculptor is seeking to investigate.
This pile of clutches which must have numbered hundreds rusting into tantalising shades of brown, orange, yellow and turquoise spoke so clearly of so many things and yet they remained silent in the corner of a dark cold basement in a breakers yard.
I picked one of them up and took it over the counter where the long suffering breakers yard attendant looked sceptically at me. He knew that he was going to have to explain what it was, why it was actually going to be worth more than it looked to us, and that no, we couldn’t have a discount.
He was on the other hand probably looking forward to hearing why on earth we wanted it. I’m not sure I can explain that in English let alone in Turkish but the surprising thing is that once it’s pointed out to the people who work in places like this how the objects they sell have aesthetic appeal to the likes of me, their eyes light up and there is a flicker of recognition. It’s as if the apparently dull, lifeless objects they scurry back and forth with in answer to the barking orders of of local mechanics looking for spare parts are elevated to another plane.
Watercolour on 600 gm paper