It has taken almost 10 years to create the portfolio, but the mood of the world had changed – hope and optimism had turned to disillusionment and pessimism
What you have here is indeed a scaled-down version of my vision. I did want every single country to participate. This just proved impossible. I did want to set up Hope and Optimism centres on each continent and I did have the hope that once every decade a Portfolio like this could be created – and all it needed was one sponsor at about £1million, or for each country to pay their artist’s costs fully. Perhaps one day. The Essay was a unique three-part source: a questionnaire I compiled based primarily on the Proust questionnaire for artists; an essay of around 1500 words on each country; a statement/interview with each artist which I had also hoped to publish. Some of these have been completed, including one with John Armleder who was representing Switzerland but who has not yet contributed his image. I have included only three examples chosen at random and none of the actual interviews. Perhaps one day? Perhaps this millennium.
Now 20 years after its completion there is more than ever a need for a portfolio that can be seen all over the globe. We will try again to place it in museums and institutions around the world to show what can be done by the human spirit. This webpage was set up to give you the opportunity to take a look at All the Prints in the Portfolio and to inform you about the history of the project and the ideas behind it. We would like to see the Portfolio find a home in each participating country, ideally as part of a museum’s collection or that of a public corporation or private person with a public spirit. Owing to the generosity of the artists, who entered into the spirit of the project by making no personal charge for their time and ability.