This project is an exploration of the link between mental health and creativity.
We all have our own personal limits, and the pandemic has tested us all. But what happens when the boundaries that keep us safe and well are pushed? How much can we tolerate? This project explores this, and my personal experiences during the pandemic of both being a mental health professional, and also my own experiences of loss, grief and burnout. The initial pieces will be exhibited in a solo show in Bath in March, and the project will be continued throughout the year.
LIMITS IN BLUE
50cm x 50cm
Ink and Acrylic paint, cotton, gold thread.
DAILY REFLECTION 2021
This project was born out of a reflection of 2020 and my coping strategies for the extended periods of isolation at home. I didn't have a regular check in with how I was on a daily basis, despite encouraging this for clients in my therapy practice and with family and friends. I decided to embark on a daily project of checking in with how I am on a particular day and finding an object in the confines of my home which connects with this feeling. I transfer this image onto rice paper, a reflection of the fragility of mental health in the pandemic. Every week, I stitch the pieces together to create a patchwork piece, documenting my days in lockdown in 2021.
An exploration of what home is and how the concept of home is shaped by immigration, discovering what this means in the modern world in relation to identity and loss.
I will embark upon a journey across Europe to explore my grandfather's Serbian heritage, using his memoirs to re-enact and document moments from his life.
This project is currently on hold due to the pandemic. I anticipate it will take place in Autumn 2022.
ISOLATION ARTWORK CONTINUED
This artwork is a continuation of my isolation pieces in 2020. I have carried this forward into the lockdown in 2021 and the pieces come from feelings of separation, loss of connection, anxiety and also hope for what is yet to come.
I am strongly drawn to textile pieces when I am connecting with processing emotions through art making. The process of making is therapeutic.
LEAP_58 cm wooden loom frame, wire warp, recycled textiles and hand dyed cotton
HANGING ON_50 cm diameter metal hoop, wire warp and dead stock scarves
HOPE IN A PANDEMIC
I put an open call out for submissions from the public asking ‘What does hope mean to you in 2020’? I wanted to explore the power of Hope in such challenging times and what it means to individuals. The sentences were submitted from all across the globe. I have been using a box of vintage travel postcards for the imagery to accompany the text, transferred onto rice paper. The text is also being used for a weaving for a Spring exhibition, which is below.
70cm metal hoop, wrapped in cotton. Cotton warp and weft.
HALF A CENTURY AWAY
These pieces were made in response to an open call I connected with. The idea was to imagine yourself, half a century from now, in your studio making art. The art that still excites you well into your old age.
For me, this was imagining my two loves, photography and weaving and bringing them together. For this brief, I wanted to imagine a time in the future when I had found a way to comfortably combine the two processes, without wondering how they will be perceived by the outside world.
I went through my archive and found images which I then transferred onto lots of large pieces of rice paper. When dry, I tore these up into strips which I have used as the weft for these pieces.
I find joy in making art that takes up space. For this reason I have made each of these weavings on large 70cm diameter frames. They are bright and colourful from afar, and when you get closer you can see the detail of the clouds and flowers. I like to work on large frames when weaving as it becomes a whole body process of weaving the weft (in this case the transferred photograph weft) onto the frame. It becomes almost meditative.
I wanted to use images of things that I believe I will be eternally fond of. The first weaving is a combination of lots of blue skies and clouds from photos I have taken. The second is a combination of lots of different photographs of sunsets that I have taken over the last few years. And the last is a series of photographs of some stunning purple flowers. I imagine myself in my older age being just as mesmorised with each of these things and ever keen to preserve them through art making.
Blue Skies_Photographic Transfer on rice paper, metal hoop_70cm diameter
Sunsets of the Years_Photographic transfer on rice paper, metal hoop_70cm diameter
Flowers, always_Photographic transfer on rice paper, metal hoop_70cm diameter
All of this artwork was made during lockdown in the UK in 2020. It was a direct response to the feelings arising from the experience. I chose materials organically, based upon objects I already had in my home studio. None of the pieces were pre-planned. Some of the themes were connection, resilience and later, deeply personal loss. This artwork is a personal journal of experiences of life in isolation.
‘Pandemic Anxiety’ 70 cm diameter metal hoop, wire warp, cotton and recycled wool.
'Connect/Disconnect' hand painted cotton on 130cm wooden dowel.
'Strong/Fragile' 70 cm x 50 cm wooden loom frame, wire warp, recycled textiles.
'Loss' 30 cm diameter metal hoop, cotton warp, recycled Harris Tweed wool ends.
TRAVEL FROM HOME
These images were made during 2020. I spent the majority of 2020 at home working from my home studio. These pieces originated from my desire to have new experiences at a time when these were scarce. I was drawn to my catalogues of images of previous travel. Working from home without a darkroom meant that I was able to work creatively to find new ways of manipulating images. They are home printed negatives, worked into with paint and ink. They represent the memories of past experiences and escapism that keeps the hope alive during extended periods of isolation.
'Somewhere over the Great Barrier Reef' Photo painting.
'Somewhere in Australia' Photo painting.
'Somewhere on the Isle of Barra' Photo painting.
KIND COMMISSIONS - SUBJECT MATTER ART
Kind Commissions is a collaboration with Subject Matter Art to create commissions based upon a short questionnaire completed by the client. The following commissions were created on the theme of the love a grandmother has for her grandchildren who she cannot see during lockdown.
The colours and shapes are connected to the children and information provided about them. They are hand painted onto cotton and woven together.
30 cm metal hoop, hand painted cotton weft.
30 cm metal hoop, hand painted cotton weft.
Photo transfer weft on cotton warp, 30 cm dowels.
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