‘Do the Little Things’ enters its final phase
Starting in November 2020, ‘Do the Little Things’ has been running continuously for over a year. Around 350 boats have been made by me and sent by participants all over the globe, from Canada to Cairo, New York to New Zealand. Many people have found this to be a rich and meaningful form of connection with loved ones who they have missed seeing in person during the pandemic. This phase of the project will finish at the end of 2021. I will then chart all the journeys that the boats have made on a map of the world, drawing it by hand to show the starting point and destination of each boat. So, if you would still like to order a boat, please do so by ordering from our shop by the end of December and if you have sent boats already, do let me know the starting point and destination by contacting me here. Once the map has been completed, I will contact participants who will be invited to purchase a copy of the map from our shop.
Last month Ink, Sweat and Tears featured ’Shine’, a poem by Rosie Miles, written in dialogue with my painted collage of the same title ’Shine’ (The painted collage is featured below and Rosie’s poem ‘Shine’ can be seen on the Ink, Sweat and Tears website here).
Ink, Sweat and Tears is a UK based webzine which publishes and reviews poetry, prose, prose-poetry, word and image pieces and everything in between. Their tastes are eclectic and magpie-like and they aim to publish something new every day.
Rosie Miles is based in Birmingham, and widely published in poetry magazines. Her debut collection ‘CUTS’ (HappenStance, 2015) and her poem ‘You enter’ is etched into King’s Heath urban village square. She was selected for the first cohort of ACE/Nine Arches Press Dynamo Mentees in 2017.
I am continuing preparations for our Lever Arts Open Studio Weekend on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November. (If you would like more details or would like to book a place please contact Lever Arts).
At the end of October Jake and I spent a lovely slow week in a cottage in a remote part of North Devon. I loved walking in the wild wet woodland, making colour studies and reading.
This quote on beauty is from Valerie Kaur’s book See No Stranger - a Memoir and Manifesto of revolutionary love’, a wonderful book that I read on the trip. It underscores the value of art making at this time of so much breathless suffering.
”When we see something beautiful we call it breathtaking, but we should really call it breathgiving”... Because when suffering constricts the heart, it stretches it back out, making us more compassionate, more loving, more present.’
Setting up a temporary studio in a cave-like thatched cottage, I have been continuing to experiment with painting over blue cyanotypes, a practice I started in the summer. I worked directly into these with wax crayons and layers of paint, scraping back to excavate imagery and experiment with mark making, transparency and colour. Whilst these images do not depict nature in a literal sense, they are rooted in my experience of it, honouring the mysterious harmony, unity and interconnectedness felt in the wild.
Tree of Life
The pupils and staff of Emscote Infant School and All Saints’ C of E Junior School, Warwick are working with me to create a free-standing Tree of Life comprised of hundreds of drawings, collages and cyanotypes. I have been invited by Rev Diane Thompson, Team Vicar of All Saints’ Church in Emscote, to design and deliver a project exploring the theme of the ‘Tree of Life’.
The children’s artwork is really vibrant and we are looking forward to installing the tree in All Saints Church on 14th October.
“Over its 150 year history, worship has always been at the heart of All Saints. I am also very proud that Emscote’s parish church continues to be the setting for many community events and activities: a reminder for me that God’s love is with us always and everywhere.”
Revd. Diane Thompson
Open Studio Event
Jake and I are working towards an Open Studio weekend at our home and studio in Birmingham on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th November. If you would like to visit please contact us.
I am working on a series of new oil paintings.
50% of sales from the Open Studio weekend will go to All Saints Youth Project . All Saints Youth Project is an inclusive youth project providing recreational and informal educational opportunities and individual support in Kings Heath, Birmingham.