Watching my films offers an opportunity to leave the outside world behind and move into a gentle place of detail and absorption. They are slow and durational, sometimes mysterious, sometimes narrative. I like to think of them as my spiritual response to the more-than-human world.
Working as an artist can be a very solitary process. Many hours are spent alone in a workshop, studio or, in my case, an editing suite. At the start of lockdown I had just come to the end of a very busy period of preparation. I was due to present at an international conference in Lisbon, to exhibit in Northern Ireland and was making preparation for Spring Fling. I had all three projects under control and was ready . . .
So, disappointment aside, it was quite nice to stop and catch my breath. After a couple of weeks of jigsaws and bread-making it finally sank in that this was no short interlude, but rather a long haul and it was time to get creating again. However, as a film artist working in the natural world, the opportunity to go far and wide filming material was a non-starter. For a while I worked with existing material and produced a film about climate change in response to a call for work for a Scottish exhibition Changing Tides scheduled for the Autumn in Galashiels.
But film-making is not my only artistic outlet. For many years I have also made studio-based work and throughout that period, collage has been a regularly visited format. It was time to go back to my studio and create abstract sheets of watercolour ready to use in collage work. This time, as well as creating the basic construction pieces, I decided to sew them together using decorative stitchwork – oh, yes and to film them. Now I find myself generating new material for both my film work and wall-based images. This process is unfolding and will, no doubt, change further as I move through it. But in addition to my films I may well bring some wall art along to Spring Fling when it eventually unlocks.