The creative process, in all art forms, is what’s helping me through this time.
My home has been my sanctuary, I’ve been inspired by with the items that surround me, my studio/shed, office, home and garden. I think being in quarantine has heightened my ability to observe and has allowed me to be more creative and thoughtful. It has been a good time for me to slow down a bit and find beauty in the everyday things.
The importance of staring out of a window.
I feel so lucky to have this view (on the left) from my office. From here I see the river, the boats, the willows and people going for their walks or cycle rides.
I love this quote from Janet Macunovich;
"Don't design your back yard from the outside looking in. Design from your window looking out."
This oasis of green space in front of my home wasn’t designed by me, but it inspires me, every day.
The importance of staring out of a window, part two.
I took this photograph (picture on the right) at the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent last year. This thoroughly inspiring exhibition was held in a disused china factory, a fabulous open space, lit by lots of windows and light wells.
The photograph shows you; the light coming in though the mucky glass, a view of patched up openings, repairs, peeling paint, plants growing where they can, and a view through other windows.
Unfortunately, there’ll be no Ceramics Biennial here this year due to the current situation, but there’ll be one next year.
When I see light coming in through windows, (which is what they are for), I see hope.
Or do you just see the mucky glass?
There is magic in ‘Still Life’, the ordinary objects around us, arranged in a specific way, can take on a whole new meaning.
Dick Ket is one of my favourite still-life artists, he was a 20th century Dutch magic realist painter noted for his still lifes and self-portraits.
I find the composition of the objects inspiring, these are called 'Still Life with Rolls' and 'Still life with Bunch of Grapes', simple, yet magical.
His meticulous still- life paintings each feature only a few objects, such as bottles, empty bowls, eggs, musical instruments, grapes, and newspaper clippings. Ket depicts these common objects with angular cuts in various perspectives as an analytical technique for his desire to express emotion in his compositions.
P.S Magical realism is what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe.
During this time when stuck at home, I have become much more aware of the ‘Still Life’ arrangements in my home office.
Here I’m surrounded by the things that I either need or that inspire me. Objects that stir memories, little displays, still life, mood and vision boards.
Why do we hold on to some objects, to become central to our everyday lives, and why do we see other items as ‘clutter’? What items do we really need to survive, sustain or evolve?
On my right (right photograph), is my ‘support team’.
Meet; the motivational (lipstick stained) coffee mug, the Le Petit Prince star globe, my sticky tape golden frog holder and the characters on a rope hanging off my desk lamp.
Of all the books I’ve read, the number one favourite is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The story is touching in its beauty and innocence, it is filled with gems of poetic wit and wisdom.
“What makes a desert beautiful is that it hides a well somewhere.”
The most vital thing to realise here is that one's experience of the world is changed and enriched by this kind of active, imaginative looking. It gives what you see more depth and character.
What the world looks like depends a lot on how we look at it.
Wasn’t Aristotle wise man?