Working with other people meant that I immersed myself in the work of other artists. In our mutual learning of how each other work, it enables a deeper perspective on your own work and understanding of self and your artistic voice.
This is the reason I feel the value in collaborating.
Collaboration with Melissa Wishart
Call and response method of working. We parked our egos at the door. We embraced the unexpected. Our ethos was to be in the moment - that transitory was ok. We were not interested in making an 'end product'. We visually documented as we went along and felt free to let things go and move on, allowing the next moment to emerge. Fundamentally a different way of painting with a physicality to the process, the scale large.
with Hayley Cove
We were wondering how art could be so accessible? We took ourselves out into the immediate locality and began to enquire. We chose the month of May. Collecting from around Mill Lane, plant forms, sheep wool, feathers, horse hair, we began to investigate as it informed us of the environment we live in. We created mini sculptures using their forms and delighted in their cast shadows. We created prints from the plant materials. The Mill Lane Project was accepted into the Black Swan Open Competition in 2018, which can be seen in the photograph at the top of this page, mini sculptures, 9 plant plaster reliefs and two concertina sketchbooks.
Art Works (SAW)
Collaborative Book 2020-2021
Lockdown #3: Reflections in a very different part of the year, January and February. The days felt long. There felt the need to create a routine, to keep everything moving forward and purposeful, I found this in drawing. It grounded me, once again, and I found it my everyday pursuit.
Locality, once again, was key to my information. Maps, roads, farms, collecting items on my daily walks, back to thoughts of Lockdown number 1 & 2.
This A3 page has a front and back. It is a mixed media piece on heavy weight watercolour paper. Once again, text has played its part. Watercolour, graphite, gesso and charcoal with a cold-wax medium finish. It has been stitched into the collaborative book with other Somerset Artists to begin touring shortly.
Somerset Reacquainted (SAW)
My immediate response to the Covid-19 crisis was to immerse myself within nature. Walking, sketching, collecting and, surprisingly, writing many thoughts and feelings.
I used the traditional sketchbook, the invaluable tool, like a diary, even though I was unable to paint for 3 weeks.
It was later when I wanted to use these “in the moment” pages to expand my thoughts as an artist, to explore in more detail, to transform them in another way and this came about by looking at poetry books belonging to my mother, for both she and her mother also, had lived in the same village as me, a long connection with Beckington.
Within the small treasured book rested markers she had made learning poems at Beckington School. One of the markers was on Thomas Hardy’s poem “Weathers”. I wanted to use the idea of these markers/labels as an idea to extend the sketches and as the month of April was so important during the crisis. I was creating 2 or 3 labels a day, like an important grounding mechanism. I completed over 100. They are now in a keep-sake box, a Pandora's box?
Later I took these labels back out into the environment from where the work originated, therefore creating a full-circle, like a life-cycle.