Artist in Lockdown

I heard the news that I had been awarded one of the 2020 Creative Pathways Bursaries fairly early on into lockdown. I was absolutely thrilled to receive this support for my practice, but with two small preschool children, the period immediately after hearing the news, was in fact time away from my paintbrush; lockdown for me has been a busy time at home. However there have been opportunities to reflect on my work and photograph the sort of domestic still life images I use within my painting practice. My family have kindly obliged and our home is in a constant state of messy flux, toys strewn across the floor, half drunk cups of coffee, piles of washing up.. Plenty of material for work!  I think we’ve all appreciated the stillness this strange time has provided. A slower pace, more time together, more time in nature and as someone new to Somerset, an opportunity to explore our local area.

 My painting practice is very concerned with noticing objects in the domestic sphere. I paint still life images of everyday items and scenarios. The work initially begun from the autobiographical experience of going on maternity leave after the birth of my first child. Suddenly my life revolved around caring for my newborn baby and domestic chores. The everyday and mundane was very much my reality, and I developed this new respect and love for the quotidian rituals that underpin life within the home. My paintings of washing, dishwashers, dusty hallways and children’s cups, work in series to try to describe and examine these overlooked rituals with care.

At a time where so many of us have been forced to stay in our homes I have wondered if my work, with its themes of domestic interiority, may have had at this time more resonance with more people. It was an honour to see a painting from 2017 entitled ‘Washing’ appear in an article in The Telegraph from a journalist writing about creative projects during lockdown. Thinking ahead to summer and autumn I am excited to meet new artists and share experiences with fellow SAW members and audiences. As we move out of this strange period, I hope I don’t forget some of the benefits of slowing down a little and taking time to see and experience life with more care.