In the Garden Gallery, Dartington, I will be showing a series of works with my friend Karen Lorenz, opening April 12th (6 – 8 pm) and open until May 15th.
Some of my work will be new pieces influenced by time spent on Shetland, and some will be the works made pre-Shetland. I’ve recently been thinking more about my process …here are some thoughts and reflections…
I’m very interested in frequencies and energetic vibrations – and classical music which I listen to all the time. I am trained in classical shamanism and I have a lot of knowledge/experience related to that which I draw on.
I never draw from observation – apart from the line describing the crest of a hill or Head, or the curve of a geo….On Shetland I work & write from/in the landscape with my sketchbooks – but they are more to do with atmosphere and the spirit of place.
I ask the spirit of the place/work to show itself to me and then I work with it when it comes (I feel it in my body). I also look at these drawings/notes when at home in my Newlyn studio to help me key in to the purity and openness of Shetland; they become postcards to myself.
Regarding the horse, bird & human anatomy, I have always been keenly observant and I experience things/visual phenomena on a deep level of knowing which I draw on with my watercolours/paintings/writing. I rode, trained and worked with horses for many years and I learned to anticipate and see the tiniest traces of anything that might be afflicting them.
My paintings and watercolours are about subtle phenomena finding a safe place to settle in order to manifest physically/psychically.
They are like birds or sky flakes coming to rest (this imagery comes from a recent dream).
This is why watercolour is so appropriate, as it is energetically light and pure.
Shamanically, objects/pictures have to be alive to have power. The nature and quality of the power is very important.
Mother as Source
Mother with pouch catches baby
I avoid anything which feels spell-like or which emanates from a place which makes me feel uneasy. I rely on impluses/psychic antennae in my body to warn me. It is not an intellectual process.
People sometimes dream about my work. This is good as it means they – the pictures- are working. Dreams often inform my work by suggesting ways I can explain phenomena )as above).
I love to be in wild places where human interference is faint – for example – the Outer Hebrides, Shetland, and Italian National Parks. I like to feel the bones of a place, where the spirit can shine and be bright. It is very important for the clarity of my vision and my dreams to visit these places as often as I can…..I’ll be returning to Shetland this Summer, and to the Dolomites soon after….
Baby with spirit Parents of Song
I will be speaking about this embodied work at a Symposium on April 13th in Plymouth.