A Space Inbetween.
An exhibition of art work given space by the lockdown.
Our lives are in limbo. We are waiting. Routines disrupted. Families behind walls, separated. Tragedies are occurring. The lockdown has had a huge impact on us all in many different and surprising ways. Released from expectations, commitments, childcare and social activities unexpectedly gave space for me to be just me. The time I craved to spend time with brushes and scissors and paint miraculously revealed itself and a flood of creativity poured out to fill the void. Without the usual opportunities to share our lives with others all sorts of creative ways to bring people and ideas together have exploded into our lives. Amazing technology has been a lifesaver for many. In the absence of any exhibitions I have created an exhibition of my lockdown work in the spare bedroom despite my husband being the only likely visitor. I have enjoyed doing it as it created an opportunity for a pause, a time to reflect before whatever is next.
An online exhibition seems like a good way to expand footfall beyond my current total of one. Some of the exhibits are paintings that emerged in a random way at the start of these strange weeks before a focus on walls took over which is still ongoing. I hope you enjoy browsing through them. When we all emerge like butterflies from a cocoon into a new world we may all be very different people, or will we? Who will we have become during this space in between?
'Carn Brea Castle'
Near Redruth, Cornwall.
During the lockdown I have been feasting my eyes on beautiful photographs of Cornwall posted on Facebook and Instagram by the lucky people who live there. When this popped up I knew it had to be my next lockdown painting. When I get back to Cornwall I will be making a visit to this dramatic place.
Mixed media: Acrylic, ink and charcoal
100cm x 40 cm Deep Canvas unframed.
'Pink Moon from the bedroom window'
Painted from a photo of the pink moon taken on 8th April after the lockdown started. The black silhouettes of the trees against the strange ghostly sky was what intrigued me.
Mixed media: Acrylic, ink and charcoal.
'Escape to the Country'
This glorious yellow field of Oilseed Rape was photographed from the car window on the first trip out we took during the lockdown to buy some meat at the farm shop.
Having been only in the house and garden for 4 weeks it felt strange to be out and rather naughty despite it being an essential food shopping trip. We were the only people there!
Acrylic on board. 45cm x 20cm Unframed
Threatening storm off the Cornish Coast.
The sea and sky is a never ending source of fascination for me. We have watched endless skies turn from clear blue to stormy greys and purples and sat and watched the rain approach for as long as we dare before making a run for it! This picture captures many of those times and the birds who fly in front of the storm as it approaches.
Mixed Media: Acrylic and Ink on board.
Unframed 61cmx 23cm
'Sunburst, Firespot and Tar'
This amazing kaleidoscope of colour is a feast for the eyes created by salt resilient lichens on the walls of Mousehole Harbour.
'Boz's Veg stall'
This is Basingstoke's lovely Wednesday and Saturday market in the 'Top of Town' which is the older part of our town. Our favourite place to sit is Poppins café and have a coffee while watching the world go by. Often accompanied by a small grandchild we have spent many hours there people watching and buying supplies for the week ahead. We have been missing it enormously as we have reverted to online food shopping while we have been hiding away. However just this week we made a visit and felt very at ease with the virus precautions. Sadly the cafe is still closed but we will be back there soon I hope.
Acrylic on deep canvas unframed. 50cm x 50cm £145
'In and out'
Rivulets and waves
Acrylic on board. 20cm x 20cm
Walls glorious walls!
For many years now I have collected photographs of walls building up a huge portfolio. I am fascinated by the shapes and the colours of the stones and bricks, and the way time has aged them, the stories they could tell and their purpose and meaning for communities, wildlife and plant species that rely on them.
Suddenly finding myself with the opportunity to play with ideas in the studio walls become the focus of my attentions and provided a chance for some indulgence in one of my favourite means of expression, collage. Textures and patterns are one of my passions and I have several huge boxes of things squirrelled away just in case they might be useful one day. (A typical characteristic of teachers I think!) The only danger with this is that it is easy to get over excited and stick things on willynilly so I have had to contain the urge to do so. Below are the first two collections of wall inspired work.
'The wall is an iliad of granite. It chants to me of pilgrims of the perilous deep, of fearless journeying and old forgotten things' Helen Keller .
Series 1: Walls for enclosure and defence.
'South West coastal path'
Together with Gerald and the very much missed Chester we have walked the coastal path for hours. The strength of this stone wall defends walkers from the wind and rain and on a sunny day offers a little shade.
Mixed media: acrylic, pen and charcoal on board.
A section of the old wall enclosing the pastures around the Old Tithe barn in Old Basing which was built in 1535. The colours of the yellowy orange lichens glow against the grey/white of other sections. Although I am not sure exactly when it was built this is certainly a wall with many stories to tell.
Mixed Media: Acrylic and pen on board. 20cm x 20cm. Unframed.
Two small paintings of walls between sandy beaches and the banks and roadside behind. Aged and weathered they offer protection against the waves although they were quite a way back from the usual high tide line.
Mixed media: pen, ink, watercolour and charcoal.
13.5cm x 17cm. Currently framed as a pair but each is beautiful on it's own.
As a single mounted piece . Framed as a pair below SOLD
An intriguing hole in the wall at Carne Beach in Cornwall which sometimes is still and quiet and at other times gushes a raging torrent of storm water onto the beach.
Mixed media: water colour, charcoal and pen.
Would make a third piece to go with the two walls above.
'The Old Stone Walls'
Four small representations of time aged stone walls and the labours of those who placed the stones with such craftmanship all those years ago. Stones lie disconnected
and half hidden by the invading march of time.
Mixed media: Collage, acrylics, oil pastel, ink and pen.
Each mounted 15cm x15cm.
'Stumbling with age and witness to a different time, still there are stories harboured here.'
From 'The old stone wall' by Laurie Apgar Chandler
Series 2: Walls as safe places and road maps.
Walls creat a vertical environment that increases habitat diversity. One side is damp and moist and the other warm and dry. Many different animals use stone walls as homes and shelters, look outs and travel corridors. In some countries even bears use them!
'The wall consumed'
This wall is in the grounds of Godolphin House in Cornwall. It has long been a fascination for me as the stones have been swallowed up by the trees and plants and many little creatures that have made their homes there. its probably not possible to see in the photo but there are a few pairs of eyes peeping from the nooks and crannies.
Mixed media, collage, acrylic, charcoal and pe on board. Unframed. 36cm x 36cm £75
'Across the fields'
My love for stone walls must have started when I was quite young. We spent a lot of time in the Peak District as my great aunt was a head teacher of a tiny village school in Sheen. The strongest memory I have of that landscape is the impact of the walls carving up the fields with their dark strength.
The text on this piece says 'Little herb Robert, Bright and small, Peeps from the bank, Of the old stone wall.
Mixed Media, collage acrylic, ink and pen framed behind glass. 33.5cmx33.5cm
'This is the way 1.
A representaion of the way that walls can guide animals and people across the landscape.
Mixed Media: Collage, Acrylic, oil pastel and ink. 19.5 cm x 19.5cm Unmounted £10 or as a pair £15
Between the stones a myriad of lives exist, most in secret. Here you can see the snake, a lizard a rabbit and a bird plus several creepy crawlies. Also just visible on the left a curled up figure representing those of us who build our own 'walls' around ourselves. Also I have included a man placing stones as a tribute to all those who laboured to build the walls that crisscross our landscape.
Mixed media: collage, ink, acrylic on board
30cm x 30cm unframed £ 75
'Side by Side'
Lichens and plants of all types share the accommodation offered by a wall. This little piece began as a mono print taken from my paint palette as I don't like to wash away unused paint. It's always a lovely surprise to see what transfers to the paper. From a selected part of the print grew a representation of the connection between the unplanned random print and the unplanned random colonisation of the wall.
Mixed media: Ink, acrylic, collage mounted
15cm x 15cm £ 10
This is the way 2.
Many animals and birds use walls as navigation tools across the landscape as they hunt for food and find their way back to the safety of home.
Mixed Media: Collage, Acrylic, oil pastel and ink. 19.5 cm x 19.5cm Unmounted £10 or as a pair £15
Walls stand silent as the world grows up around them and hides them from eyes that do not look.
Mixed Media: Collage, ink, pen and acrylic.
19.5cm X 9cm unmounted. £8. or £12 as a pair with Lost and Found.
'Teach me the secret of your serene repose, Tell of greater things to be, When love and wisdom are the only creed, And law and right are one.' from The song of the stone wall by Helen Keller.
Moss and Lichen.
Walls are clothed in a palette of amazing colours from the lichens that have found a home on the rough surfaces of the stones.
Many are clothed in a furry coat of green moss or camouflaged by tall grasses and ferns.
Mixed Media: Mono print, Acrylic and collage
Mounted 15cm x 15cm
£10 each or £15 as a pair.