In Spring I drew with brushpen and ink, black and white descriptions of trees on the allotments or in nearby Queens Wood. On gloomy days in early summer I made drawings in colour on my ipad. The world under lockdown as seen from my sitting room. Mid-summer I read “The Overstory” a book fatter than any I have tackled with my bookclub, but one written with great passion for the natural world and the urgent conviction that for humankinds’ survival we must change the entire way we live and relate to the planet.
All my art has been made with the natural world in mind. Because of #climatechange, I need the sense of urgency to change myself, and I want to affect other people, change their thinking, their small choices, all their actions. I am not sure visual art unaccompanied by text is equipped to do this. I think the work needs an explanatory story.
Drawing in the Landscape: the first tree drawing was a pencil sketch of bare oak branches, a jerky line pursuing hoops and darts of random possibility. Then the leaves quickened and the brushpen stroked them, the mass of a tree in the landscape, recursive branches resolving to the shade of inky leaves.
Drawing in the Woods: within the woods, the sun reveals a new algorithm- the sky is no backdrop, it has disappeared and there are more dimensions to this universe than can be mapped onto paper.
Drawing in the Sitting Room: sunlight renders the ipad surface invisible. On the colder or wetter days I draw in the house, in colour, on the ipad. I am inside my house, but outside my drawing. It is planned layer by layer. It is re-sized, re-coloured, re-called. An ipad drawing is not a painting. It is too considered. It has to be about something, tell a story. Perhaps this will suit my project.
‘On my mantelpiece I’ is more personal and more abstact. I want to challenge the viewer. What are these objects? If the objects are not understood or recognised, does it matter, will the composition compensate?
Roses from the garden, a digital copy of a postcard from a painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker, a ceramic dinosaur by my son, aged seven at the time. Small momentos from my visits to South America. A wooden animal carving from the Colombian Amazon, bronze oxen ploughing from Peru. Tributes to nature, places, people and the making of things.
‘On my mantelpiece II’ includes a corner of a scultural relief ‘Seascape’ made in steel, aluminuim and acrylic sheet. This is the bay and rock pools near Hope Gap, a place I have known all my life. It makes the pre-historic come alive to me.
More roses and another postcard, the image is from an ipad drawing of ‘Rodgers Bookbarn’ in upstate New York where I stay with my friend Maureen, who has known me all my life. This time I dont photograph the Modersohn-Becker, but draw it.
Finally the latest drawing ‘ The Forest is burning, the house is on fire’. I made an installation and a series of acrylic sheet sculptures about the Amazon. ‘The Forest’ is one of them. I am hoping its inclusion in this drawing intrigues and challenges the viewer…
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