After scaling up to celebrate the We Are All Artists second anniversary a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been thinking of ways to scale back down again. Carole and I took a walk along a few miles of the River Wandle earlier this week, and the river has been on my mind since.
Last night I picked up a small hardwood tile and began to draw and paint.
Several hours, and many coats of paint and varnish later.
I’ll be hiding this very soon. It’s a sunny day today, can’t wait to see how the sun makes the art sparkle.
I hid the art by a waterwheel in The Grove, Carshalton, here’s a photo taken on location. It’s since been found and has a new home.
The next free art drop is about to hit the streets. So what? This one feels a little special to me, as it marks the second anniversary of the We Are All Artists free art project. 104 consecutive weeks of making and hiding art, most of it in and around Wallington and Carshalton, with occasional trips further afield. There are 151 pieces of my work in the collection so far, plus an additional 7 made by other people.
I’ve been working on this second anniversary piece all week, and it’s now finished. Here are some photos of the work in progress.
This is the biggest piece I’ve made for the project so far, a 40cm x 80cm canvas showing a koi, a Japanese symbol of good fortune. It might prove a little tricky to hide, but I’m looking forward to finding a super sneaky place to leave it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported and taken part in the project so far. It grows into itself, and beyond too. When I look back at my work over the past 24 months I can’t imagine being without this experiment, it currently informs so much of what I do.
In case you are interested, the symbols in the lower left corner are my attempt at Chinese calligraphy. They signify ‘developing, becoming different.’
I thought you might like to see a photo of where I eventually hid the art (long story short a mix of bad weather meant I tried and failed to hide this piece on two previous occasions – this was third time lucky).
Earlier this year, along with thousands of others, I submitted an entry to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. Yesterday, March 15th 2018, this happened:
I’m disappointed by the decision. I wouldn’t have submitted the work if I didn’t think it was worthy of inclusion, and it isn’t, and that’s OK. I’m pushing my artistic practice pretty hard right now – making more works live in front of audiences, making larger works, experimenting. To some extent, the goal of submitting to the RA is part of what drives me on. The Gathering remains a piece I am proud of – it was exciting to make, and having it freed up by the RA means I can now offer it elsewhere. This rejection is just another step on the adventure. Congratulations to Anne McCrossan, a lovely friend who did make the short list, I’m delighted for you.
Yesterday morning, I dropped ‘Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again’ off at the London headquarters of AECOM, where it will be on display until the end of April.
You can read the background to this piece here, and hopefully you’ll see why this is a great place for this art work to reside for a while. The timing of this particular art drop was a great antidote to the letter I received earlier. Thank you to the people at AECOM who are making this possible.
Not Giving Up
Last night I played at the Project B open mic, hosted by Chloe Ray. I first met Chloe a little over a year ago when we collaborated on a joint art/music project called ‘Not Giving Up’. Not Giving Up is the title of the fourth track on Chloe’s Reprise EP, and it’s the title of this artwork, made to celebrate the 50th consecutive week of the free art project.
Serendipitously, Chloe performed Not Giving Up last night, what a joy it was to hear that song, and reflect on a day of rejection and acceptance. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got work to do.