This February, I travelled south to the beautiful region of Indre-et-Loire, to spend two weeks reflecting on my practice. I carried a heavy load of tools, sketchbooks and materials – way too much as it turned out, but I’m not cut out for minimalism. I wanted to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business and my routine in London – to dedicate this time to being 100% creative.
I started with some simple observational watercolours. I wanted to be absorbed in the making process, without an agenda or the pressure of an expected outcome, to re-connect with what drives me to be a maker.
Paper was my second port of call. Maps and colourful leaflets, my favourites! Using thread to connect paper strips, I created ‘fan’ shapes by folding each layer in turn – opening and closing spaces – thus creating geometric forms which I then manipulated and distorted. Moving on the makeshift jewellery bench, I used silver strip to ‘frame’ the paper – The resulting pieces are bold, formal and rythmic but also curvaceous and irregular .
I’ve also re-ignited an old passion of mine – optical distortion. Working with Quartz and Citrine checkerboard cabochons, constructing a setting and holder which would highlight precious fragments of paper/ maps. This is still very much work-in-progress, but with those pieces I wish to re-interpret the locket in a fun, contemporary way.
I saw the residency as an extended ‘Artist’s Date’ as defined by Julia Cameron in her excellent ‘Artist’s Way’ , where she writes “A little fun can go a long way towards making your work feel more like play”.
Photography credit : Juliet Sheath