Saturday, 23 May 2015

Marc Vyvyan-Jones

This is my wife Clare in 1985:

Clare in those days was a physics PhD student at Bristol.  The image is from a new-address card she commissioned from a friend, and it came to light again, many years later, in a clear-out of Clare's room at her parents' house.

The writing embroidered on Clare's leg reads "Please look after this Clare."  That drew from me a limerick, 11 years before we were engaged:

I'd love to look after this Clare,
blonde and plump like a girl teddy-bear.
I just hope that her rump's
not too bruised by the bumps
which arise from the wheels' being square.

The teddy-bear in Clare's lap had been a birthday present from friends, a couple of years earlier.  She believes she passed it on to a child in 1990, when she had to shed so many possessions for her post-doc year in the States, and she cannot now remember its name.

For those too young to have seen floppy disks, I'd better say that they were at least as square as shown in the picture, and not the sort of Daliesque thing the name suggests.  The title of Dali's painting The persistence of memory has acquired a secondary aptness from the transience of floppies.

The artist was Marc Vyvyan-Jones.  It was his first commission, he told me recently; billed then on invoice 0001, and reproduced now with permission.  His career as an illustrator continues to thrive, with an emphasis on the quirky and gallimaufrageous.  Who's next up to offer him a commission?

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