1- 25 March 2019
I am an Artist from Sheffield in the UK. My practice is mainly 2D, painting and printmaking using photography as source material. I am part of Trafalgar Studios, 40 plus creatives in a large ex industrial building in the heart of Sheffield.
I had some idea of what I wanted to work on before arriving at Angelot. But of course these things change when in the actual experience. I was working through a particularly difficult time for me, on a personal level, and knew it must manifest in a physical way, and I found myself working both with a minotaur figure and also a human figure, both of which I made while at Angelot.
The break away from my usual environment, in a context that was new and strange, helped to focus the mind on only what was necessary in order to make the new work.
The little house is snuggled in between a small stream (the Boiron) and a wooded area, with agricultural roads leading to villages and towns.
The wood was inspirational; I wondered through it at differing times; the light changing with the weather and time of day. The river that runs through the wood was clear and pure, running down from the towering mountains behind us.
Kate Orme and myself settled into a daily rhythm of food, lighting fires, looking after the resident cat (Ghandi) and working at our tables in the main room. Several times we visited the Trelex residency artists in a neighbouring village. Many deep and inspiring conversations ensued, and our differences only added to the creative mix.
We met many people connected in diverse ways to the residencies and to the locality; on the winter solstice a ritual event took place in the woods, with a fire master and gathering of interested folk. Stories and dreams were recounted and shared in an atmosphere of integrity and confidence. What a privilege to be invited to share in this.
I had taken fabrics and stuffing to construct a minotaur head and shoulders which I wanted to wear. The canvas was too fresh and white so the pieces were wetted in the river then trampled in the ashes from the fire, before roughly sewing the minotaur together. To wear this in the late evening out in nature felt liberating, fresh, and primeval.
As I walked through the wood one evening, scattering the white ashes from the fire, I noticed that it appeared very ghostly as it diffused into the air, so began to take pictures to capture this. These are now images that will form part of a body of work in the future, I use these pictures in my paintings, sometimes having held onto them and collected over many years, never really knowing when they might be integrated into a new work.
As we had limited resources it helped to focus the mind to what might be possible. I began to make monoprints, using black and white inks rolled onto a ceramic tile. These were Minotaurs and what I thought of as ‘Blinded Girl’.
I made larger paintings in watercolours of blinded girl and also a clown figure that has been dominant in my visual vocabulary for many years.
Using glue and paper held together with wires, a small female form started to take shape. She entered the river, and waited around in the house for opportunities to shine.
I have come away with two distinct bodies of work, (Minotaur/blinded girl) and an idea for three oil paintings of fantastical landscapes, with mists, water and mountainous views.
Both Kate and I are hoping to return to possibly take part in a local exhibition, which I hope will be realised.