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Reviewing the old/inspiring the new.

It’s been a difficult time for everyone during the past 18 months, many things have changed, some for the better some not! But each of us I think, has also had time to reflect on what we have been doing and cogitate on what we can be doing going forward. Somethings we will want to return to, other things we want to let go and move on. For me artistically, it’s been quite a challenge one the production side but on the inspirational side one might say a blessing. I have loads of ideas for creative works and projects I want to do. It's now more about the actual how, where and when.

Throughout lockdown, because I am the carer for my disabled son, a lot of my time and focus has had to be on keeping him occupied. All the things that we used to do it pretty much shut down, apart from going to the farm once a week. And although we’ve been able to do some cooking, making, online exercise together, during the last six months we’ve been packing everything to move to Folkestone. My studio has actually been packed up since November 2020, and all my stuff is still packed now at our new house, whilst I frantically try to build my new studio in the garden.

The collaborations, installations and meetings with fellow artists in Bicester, which I'd been able to do for the last five years had also dried up, with everyone retreating to their own neighbourhoods and houses, not being able to meet and only conversed via zoom, which although in some ways it’s been quite good, in others has been for someone like me who thrives on the generative interaction between people and ideas, as so many do, it’s been a bit of a struggle. Combine this with the fact that I’ve not been able to enter into the studio which is my sacred space as well as my working place has been unsettling.

We are now settled in Folkestone, Yipee! And although having taken probably a few months longer than anticipated, we are here and love the possibilities of making new relationships here. My natural tendency would be to get my new studio/sacred space done and start work, but this time its not that simple, with a shortage of materials being a challenge but one that has made me rethink the structure and decide to use re-condition pallets, both in greater supply and cheaper than new wood at the moment! However, in meantime I’m going to start working on some new ideas I have on a small scale, rather than the big scale I’m used to working, further developing my teabag work in preparedness for an exhibition next April 2022. (Watch out for details soon)

The good generative news so far from this period of lockdown and challenge of moving home, is thinking time which I believe everyone needs, especially artists, to focus on what’s important; what we all need to be doing going forward which is not what we were doing previously. Well for me I believe this is all part of God’s plan for me and others as he closes a door to enable us to adjust and better focused on the path that is laid before, us to do what he wants us to do; to serve; to be part of the local creative and wider community.

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