We have a garden. I’ve never been a keen gardener and right now, I’ve never more thankful for immediate access to outdoor space. As well as sitting in the garden, I’ve been contemplating outdoor space artistically too. My new role as Artist In Residence with GameShift, has yielded an opportunity to consider the importance and significance of being outside, and the results of a small garden project will become visible soon. For now, here’s a preamble, in the form of an imaginary path.
I based this drawing on a recollection of a magazine cover. I forget the title of the magazine, but it was something to do with wellbeing and contained an article about being outside. I recalled the image and sketched a version from memory. The work symbolises gratitude. I’m going to offer this A4 pen and watercolour sketch as the next online free art drop. If you are interested in taking part – head over to my Facebook page, where some clues will need to be solved.
As well as thinking about gardens for the GameShift project, I’m also taking time to think about how I chronicle my work in this time of lockdown. The heritage department of our local authority has a project underway called ‘The Locals: Diaries’. It’s an invitation for residents in the borough to keep notes in whatever form they want, and submit copies of the documentation for the borough archives. I’m looking forward to supporting this project, both directly through my own contributions, and as a member of Arts Network Sutton too. More to follow…
As the lockdown went live here in the UK, I was fortunate to learn about something called The Offcut Project. It’s a great idea being run by Suki at The Print Block.
Suki has invited artists to send designs to her, and she prints off a limited edition of just 14 prints. The edition is returned to the artist for signing and numbering, then it goes back to The Print Block for sales and distribution.
1 copy is retained by the artist, 1 stays with the studio. 2 copies go into a pool of prints to be sent out to each contributing artist at the end of the project, and 10 are made available to purchase at a cost of £30. £10 of each print sale will go to the artist, at least £10 of each print sale will go to food banks through The Trussell Trust. The remaining amount will go to covering costs at the studio. What a lovely idea.
I chose to submit my ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ design. The term Howling At The Moon is often used to describe the sense of wanting something we cannot have. In these times of social distancing, that feels apt, whether it be a lack of each other’s company, toilet rolls, or something else! The artwork is inspired by a song by Hank Williams, who wrote the song ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ in 1951 to describe the giddiness of true love. I don’t know about you – but I am fortunate to be experiencing a lot of love too. I’m seeing lots of people doing lots of good, loving things. One of those people is Suki at The Print Block. Thanks for including me Suki.
If you’d like to purchase a copy of ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ or any of the other prints on offer, you can do so here.
Prior to the Big Bang – vast dragons soared through the emptiness. Flying untold millions of miles apart, the only sounds they heard were the faintest, distant cries of other dragons, invisible even to their keen eyes, and the sound of the emptiness being torn apart by their razor sharp wings. If we had been alive to see them, they would have looked like constantly moving patterns of stars, endlessly roaming the darkness.
As the explosion which caused the universe unfolded, these impossibly large beasts fragmented, and settled in the vastness of the sky. Some of them faded into oblivion, and some can still be seen, even to this day. Although they now appear inanimate, they are still alive, and when this universe collapses, the dragons at the dawn of time will begin their journeys again.
This is what I imagine one of the dawn of time dragons looked like before settling down to rest, just as the universe was exploding into being. I’ve made this artwork to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the free art project. I had planned to make an Easter trail with clues leading to the location of this special free art drop, which is made with spray paints and acrylic paints on a 40cm x 80cm canvas. The current lockdown means plans have to change, so instead, there will be a series of clues published online in the coming days, which will reveal the virtual hidden location of the painting. Once you’ve seen the clues, and figured out the location – you’ll need to email the answers to me, and I’ll draw a winner from the hat. Thanks go to the excellent Quiet British Accent, who inspired the reimagining of the drop through their own online treasure hunt.
Watch this space for more info, and I hope you enjoy playing along.