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…
The We Are All Artists free art project is reaching its 100th week. In truth, the project first began to come to life through a series of experiments dating back to around 2011, but it was on April 8th 2016 that I left my first piece of free art outside the town hall in Wallington.
If you are unfamiliar with the project, you can read more about the early stages of development, and watch a short video about the project here. Since the project started it has taken me, and members of various communities, local, virtual, global, on a series of adventures and collaborations. The project informs lots of my work on resilience, creativity, experimentation, organisational and personal development, and community interaction. It remains a fascinating example fo what happens when you start something, keep at it, and remain open to the possibilities that something can bring. I try to approach this work with beginners eyes, seeking new ideas and ways to make things interesting, challenging, and enjoyable. A flick through the search term ‘free art‘ on here will yield a few stories about the project, should you wish to take a look.
Reaching 100 consecutive weeks feels like a milestone to me, and I am choosing to celebrate with a piece of art larger than most of the works I make and hide.
This piece of art, currently untitled, is made of several layers of paint, built up over time, onto a 40cm x 50cm canvas. It will be hidden somewhere in the local area over the next few days.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me and the project. As a thank you to the local community there is a free art workshop happening on March 10th – you can read more about that and book tickets for it, here. Where will the project go from there? Who knows – and I am currently motivated to keep making so let’s see where that takes us.