Lockdown continues in the UK and whilst the guidelines were changing around spending time outdoors, I was also pondering my response to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts‘ Artists Programme brief.
Organised by Learning Programme Manager (Adults & Young People), Nell Croose Myhill, the spring Artists Programme was themed around ‘Situations’, inspired by Lucy R Lippard’s magazine-exhibition for the July/August edition of Studio International in 1970. Each artist in the programme would give and receive a situation – I was prompted with ‘Reimagined Playscapes’ from Francesca Cant and passed on ‘the place I go when I’m making’ to Hannelore Smith.
For my ‘Reimagined Playscapes’ prompt, I was thinking about the lockdown situation, playfulness, empty streets and resource-limited responses – the result was a game of hopscotch!
As well as responding to this brief, I’ve been continuing to work outdoors and use natural and found materials. Whilst working up a new series of remote resources, I starting playing with nature brushes and painted a series of blank ink nests using sticks and grasses. I also found some long cut grass that I’d added to the wild corner of my garden the month before and had since dried, so I started to form this and fresh grass into nest-like shapes.
Whilst making these I was thinking about the idea of a nest as a place of home, but when painted in black, it felt less comforting and maybe more trapping. I enjoyed replicated the form in different materials and look forward to continuing this train of thought…
Thank you Becky from Supporting Your Art for inviting me to be interviewed about my work during lockdown. In the interview, I talk about some of the challenges I’ve encountered with working remotely and how I’ve worked around them.
Also on Becky’s blog, you can read a recent interview from ArtatWork CIC about how they’ve adapted their regular arts groups during this period.
As the COVID-19 lockdown continues and travel is limited, I’ve been seeking inspiration from my home and garden for art-making this month.
I’ve been lucky to be commissioned by Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Suffolk Artlink, Making Waves Together/Norfolk County Council and Norwich University of the Arts to produce various remote learning resources. The creative resources have been a range of videos and written pieces with photos, which aim to support people to find inspiration and creativity during lockdown at home. This has kept my own creativity flowing through these difficult times.
Alongside trusty cyanotype, I’ve been experimenting with anthotype photography. This technique is completely chemical-free and plant-based, and uses the liquid from plants, leaves, berries, vegetables, etc as a light sensitive coating for paper to expose in the sun. I’m really enjoying playing with this new-to-me medium that I’ve been longing to try for ages, and can’t wait to try new plants in the bright spring sunshine.
Art making in March has been affected, as with every other aspect of life, by the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s also made me think more about waste/value of objects, such as junk mail and food packaging, in the context of national panic-buying for food.
This long line makes the best of it and is dotted with silver linings in the form of foil wrappers and milk bottle tops. It was a joy to escape into and will be off to a new home soon.
Switching to a wholly domestic-focused life means not only more time for art-making but it has also give me new perspectives on things around the house. I’m making the most of the sunshine and experimenting with painting items with a porous surface with cyanotype photographic chemical… The eggs now hold miniature sea/skyscapes!
As part of my work at Waveney & Blyth Arts, I’m project coordinator for Sculpture in the Valley 2020 event. The 7th annual sculpture event will take place at Potton Hall, Westleton in Suffolk curated by Suffolk-bsaed artist David Baldry. This year’s event will be themed around ‘Reflections on Landscape’, exploring our relationships with place in the context of climate crisis. I was invited to be interviewed by That’s TV East to talk about the upcoming event. Take a look at the full interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG1QvcXLL4k
I was invited to feature on The Jack Jay Show on BBC Radio Norfolk, on Monday 11th November, to talk about the new Artist Educator Social Network I co-founded with Kaitlin Ferguson. Plus, to talk about the upcoming Material Matters exhibition, as part of the collaborative #SayItWithStitchGY project. The Material Matters exhibition takes place from 19th to 23rd November at Skippings Gallery, King Street, Great Yarmouth. If you missed the live broadcast, you can catch up on our chat from around 1 hour in.
I’d recommend listening to the full 3 hour show, if you have the time, as you’ll hear about a community walking event with free cake in Great Yarmouth, Dean Parkin from The Grit talking about his work inspired by the lost Lowestoft fishing village, and more!
Artist Kaitlin Ferguson and I have been reflecting on our work as artist educators and have the beginnings of a new network for freelance practitioners. We’re hosting the first meet-up on Monday 4th November to establish what would be most beneficial for professionals in the field – whether this would be networking, speakers, sharing stories, creative collaborations or just space to catch-up.
If you are an Artist delivering workshops with communities, in schools, galleries, museums, or with groups of any age or arts discipline, you are welcome to join us.
The venue is Print to the People, 53-55 Pitt Street, Norwich, NR3 1DE. Read more…