Grey Lace is not my first commission, but a favourite, done over two months this past winter. It is an abstract field in muted tones with shards of red and aqua that references a particular handmade doily, on a ground of many layers of glaze. (See video of the making of this painting here.)
It was designed for a living room in Budapest (renowned for handmade lace) but left behind in the International departure lounge at Vancouver International Airport on Aug. 3.
The owner of the lost painting is, understandably, more than a little sheepish. The Lost and Found office clerk knows him by name now due to his frequent transcontinental phone calls. Has it shown up? Any word?
The 40" x 67" acrylic-on-canvas was prepared for carry-on travel, sandwiched in acid-free paper and rolled onto a tube, then wrapped in protective plastic and taped securely on all seams. It was set down in the meal-purchase area in the evening hours before the family of four's 13-hour journey and forgotten in the group's carry-on luggage.
About 250,000 items were surrendered at Canada’s eight major airports in 2011, with most of it ending up in the trash due to the extreme volume stuff and severe space restrictions at the nation's biggest airport, Pearson. It's a better scenario here at YVR where the airport chapel accepts the seized and the unclaimed and sells it at its Fridays-only chaplaincy thrift store, open noon to 5 p.m. at 4871 Miller Rd. on Sea Island. (Promotional video below).
But we're in the opposite position: trying to claim something that can't be found. I'm heading out to the store anyway on faint hope that the tube is standing in a corner somewhere. Or maybe, just maybe — and this may be where the social media miracle comes in — it was purchased and is hanging on a wall somewhere. Maybe I can work out something with that buyer.
It's a nicer thought than the picture that keeps popping up in my head: Grey Lace In Landfill.