What was your boyhood bedroom like?
Mine had posters on the walls – Charlie's Angels and Starsky And Hutch initially, followed a few years later by Debbie Harry, The Stranglers and Depeche Mode. It also had a single bed, an old bookcase I'd painted white and decorated with Figurini Panini football stickers, and a cupboard of treasures whose contents I could itemise more accurately than they ever did on the conveyor belt bit of The Generation Game. And yes, I did have a cuddly toy.
Clothes were a different matter. I expect there was a chest of drawers with clobber in it but I honestly can't remember where it was or what it looked like or anything it might have held – apart from my Scotland 1978 World Cup tops. I had two, both now lost: a short-sleeved blue one and a long-sleeved yellow goalkeeper's top, which was my pride and joy and made me look like a cherubic Alan Rough. Fashion didn't matter much in those days, you see.
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I've been thinking about all this recently and the reason is artist Jeremy Deller. He's best known for winning the Turner Prize in 2004 and for a 2001 video piece called The Battle Of Orgreave, which recreated a 1984 dust-up between cops and striking miners.
But in 2010 he also contributed to The Shoebox Project, an exhibition organised by the charity Kids Company in which participants were asked to recreate their childhood bedrooms inside a shoebox. Deller's showed the room he had when he was seven, complete with David Bowie posters. "My two biggest obsessions at this time in my life were outer space and Glam Rock, which were conveniently combined in the persona of David Bowie," he wrote.
As part of a major retrospective which opened in London this week, Deller has built a full-scale version of the bedroom he inhabited as a teenager. The exhibit is called Open Bedroom 1988-1994.
His point, I suppose, is that the boyhood bedroom is a succession of rolling artworks, a blank canvas on which to express an evolving personality. It's not deep, but it's true and I can see the same thing happening with my own kids. Their shared room is plastered with posters and cluttered with objects, each imbued with significance I can only guess at.
Perhaps I should dig out a shoebox and recreate my own 1970s bedroom. I'd need an Alan Rough Figurini Panini sticker to represent me but I'd forgo The Stranglers and make do with a cut-out Farah Fawcett. I'd still have a cuddly toy, though.