First piece, drypoint

Second piece

During lockdown I’ve been working on a commission from Skippko Arts Team, where I also work as project manager. Early on in the pandemic Skippko decided to commission all 18 of its artists working in a range of media. For other artists responses see https://skippko.org.uk/artists-commissions-in-progress/

Early on in lockdown I decided to clear out my very messy conservatory space and it soon became my ‘safe and secure’ space to sit, think about things, look out at the garden and work. Life became much smaller in the physical sense, in the initial days only venturing to the garden or local shop. Having a routine helped enormously and I started to make sketches in the garden as a way to start the day – being in the moment, looking closely at details, connecting with nature and appreciating the things on my doorstep.

The first piece in my commission is a small clear house that represents my conservatory, made as a drypoint – a printmaking method I often use in my work, although I’ve never worked in 3D before. The ‘house’ has been printed flat before being constructed 3D and shows one of the first drawings I did of some daffodil bulbs coming up in a pot in the garden.

My second piece represents the world opening up a little as during one of my daily walk allowances I discovered a place on my doorstep that I hadn’t known existed – a small area of woodland next to a railway line. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of excitement at being amongst the trees and hearing the birdsong, without the background noise of traffic and aircraft.  My second  larger house represents the world opening up a little as I discovered more about my local area through walking and taking paths without knowing where I would end up. It’s constructed using an OS map of my area and origami techniques and will include a drawing of the tree that first excited me and gave a little bit of joy at an otherwise difficult time. 

I’ve been reading about trees, how they ‘look after’ each other and the advantages of working together by sharing nutrients through their roots, and the mental wellbeing benefits of nature I’d like to take some of these ideas into my 3rd and largest piece, which is yet to be made, looking at what positives we can take forward from this whole experience and how as a project manager at Skippko I can use these lessons to benefit the people we work with, as we explore ideas around isolation, mental wellbeing and re-connecting.