Inspiration - sketches, paintings, prints, community projects
Wellington Monument Fence
This was an idea I had to improve the look of th fencing surrounding Wellignton Monument whilst structural work was carried out. At the time I was on the committee of the newly formed BHAaM (Blackdown Hills Artists and Makers) group and we wanted o raise awareness of group by involving the local community.
I live near the monument, and walk there most days. The ugly corrugated fence, and had become a real eyesore so I suggested we paint something on it. It took me several days of pondering how to do this, as painting on a corrugated surface is difficult, an ordinary image would become distorted, and it's difficult to involve lots of people when you're painting one image. I eventually had the idea of giving everyone their own stripe to paint, but in order for it to work visually, there would have to be strict colour coding rules. We settled on the theme of "Seasons", each side of the square being dedicated to one season; Spring, Summer Autumn and Winter. I then had fun working out 7 colours to represent each season. I also had a number quota, so no one-colour dominated. Once painted with the base colour each participant was asked to decorate their stripe using one or more colours from the same "season".
We had tremendous support from six the local schools, The National trust who own and maintain the monument and local buinsesses. On the day we had lots of people turn out to paint and even recruited a few passing dog-walkers.
This project inspired me to think big, and sub-consciously perhaps, I have found myself building images up to make one large picture. The drawing I am currently working on is a series of very small marks, building to fill an A1 page, this will eventually get joined to another A1 page, and so a huge picture appears. I think it may be linked. I can also see the use of limited repeat colours in my prints.
This was another BHAAM project that came about after a night discussing a theme for the newly instituted "group" shows that are a bi-annual event for SAW (Sommerset Art Works). As most of our group live in Devon, though our nearest towns are Taunton and Wellington both in Somerset. Beacuse of this we thought "Borders" would be a good subject. It was! We had lots of ideas, many a bit mad, but it was a lot of fun.
We made a passport, all designed our own "border stamp" and had lots of journeys. We looked at the specific county border, as well as personal borders and international borders. We used the top road (a straight 5 mile, originally Roman) as a stage, and set up various art works on it, and we even build a border control tower on one of the side roads, stopping traffic!
My contribution included several walks producing long scrolls, which led to my lino prints and the Border People, a project with Hemyock School. This idea came about after seeing lots of chalk drawings of children in the playground that two my fellow artists had done, whilst looking at personal space borders. I just imagined these figures getting up, which led to the hardboard cut outs. The prints were a way of using the quick sketches I had done, and I have used this technique several times since. As I do a lot of walking, the making of a scroll to record what I see as I walk, was interesting, and something I have also used since.
This was another collaborative project involving 18 artists. Some artists made a few paintings whilst others built their own shed. We also had a dancer who used the theme as a shedding of things, and a performace artist who did something on the shedding of the old year before the beginning of the new.
I had just started looking at and in old farm sheds, and stumbled across old abandoned objects. I became fascinated by the randomness of these things. They had been kept for a reason, but were then forgotten, and left to rust or go moldy.
This project became part of the three-week SAW group show and was launched with a fire and lights performance. Over the three week open period the show attracted lots of visitors.