Oil on Canvas
h: 41 w: 31 d: 4 (cms).
Like many during lockdown, it was the little everyday things that began to erode my sense of self.
And like many artists, the pandemic hit hard with the loss of scheduled work, planned exhibitions and opportunities I'd spent months working towards. A more personal loss saw me home alone for the first weeks but I was grateful to have my art practice to sustain me.
Eventually I found a new rhythym, new routines and new ideas but I absolutely cursed the fact I coudn't get a hair cut. It sounds trivial. I'm not one to subscribe to 'bad hair days' – short hair is generally a tame beast! But, with the loss of so many things I saw as core to my identity, I didn't want to see that reflected in the neglected spectre staring back from the mirror.
This self-portrait shows my usually smart short locks pinned up with laundry pegs in protest against the heatwave. It was a bit of fun at the time but there is also sadness, a longing to return to 'normal' times when hope and order might be restored.
Oil on Canvas
h: 30 w: 25 d: 2 (cms).
My series, Touched, focuses on broken objects, their relationship to their owners and how we might respond as viewers. Is there an urge to touch, a need to fix or an empathetic desire to console – and, if so, what does that tell us about our own interactions with the inanimate world and our own experiences of loss?
Our ability to use tools aided our rise, while artefacts left behind inform us of who we have been. Objects can be our talismans, our armory, our friends and we may mourn them when they are gone.
How will this play out in the future as our world becomes increasingly virtual, leaving the material behind? With the rise of AI, is it possible that we may be among the last to forge invested relationships with objects at all?
This painting is of the trusty scissors of textile designer Eleanor Pritchard, lost in the line of duty.