DAD ARTISTS AT HOME
Stretched Time in the Garden
It took me a while to settle into Lockdown life (like it probably did for many of us). For me it was a resistance to feelings of needing to be productive. Scrolling Instagram and seeing all my friends, online and off, posting images of making new work and portraying great glee at having all this time to make just left me feeling like I needed to make the most of this time creatively. But I just didn’t feel like it.
It wasn’t until I decided to let go of the feeling of the need to be productive, creatively and otherwise, that I started to soften into the slowing down of time and gradually started to draw. At first just portraits of us at home and making small videos of the garden (see my Instagram feed from March – June) to start to make some new film work.
For a year or so I’ve been thinking how I can bring together more of my love of gardening and my film and photo work (I’ve been making some films about my garden since 2012), not in a contrived way, but a more fluid interaction. So starting with the videos and then picking up again an idea for a film about an echium which I dried last year, was used as a gentle way to start making. I also started drawing areas of the garden to understand how I could create new photogram film work of the whole garden.
There have been moments when time has seemed stretched, I felt like I did as a child in the summer holidays when days blurred into each other and the only markers were sunrise and sunset. This was for me such a fantastic feeling. With stretching of time, you seem to get more of it, that amongst other things has been the great gift of this otherwise terrible time for many.
The challenge will be sustaining this once the machine starts up again. As it now gathers pace and whirrs up into perpetual mechanical motion the thing will be how to maintain these feelings of stretched, slowing and sinking down into time.
The photogram film work is still in progress, the echium film is winging it’s way to Berlin to be processed but here are some of my drawings. There’s a snippet of the making of the echium film on my Instagram feed.