I am thrilled to say that over the next 3 months I am going to be the artist in residence at St Stephen -in- Brannel Church, a beautiful medieval building that dates back to 1261. The main aim of the residency is to engage the local community in the history and heritage of the building through a range of creative activities, which will culminate in an exhibition and open event in April.
Yesterday I spend the day in the church absorbing its spirit and getting a feel for the space. It was wonderful to spend the day in such a peaceful environment and to have the time to think about possibilities for this project. I took some photographs, did some drawings in my sketchbook and scribbled words that came to mind: Sacred space- spirituality- stillness- peace- connection- contemplation- pilgrimage- salvation- worship- sanctuary- centering- focus- epiphany- reflection- power- light- dark.
At the moment I am very open to where this journey might lead and am excited and intrigued to see how this residency will expand my practice in new and diverse ways.
A new year brings new adventures and after a wonderful Christmas back in Dorset, I was lucky enough to travel to Lanzarote for a few days of sunshine and relaxation.
Before arriving in Lanzarote I knew little about the island, but once there I was bawled over by its dramatic landscapes which have been created by several volcanic eruptions. The colours of the landscape and its extravagant rock formations were incredibly beautiful and I found the island to have an incredibly peaceful feel which was just what I had hoped. It was fantastic to be able to get back in touch with nature and to have the time and space to think about what I would like to achieve in my artistic practice in 2016.
During my time on the island I also discovered the work of César Manrique who was born in Lanzarote in 1919 and was an artist, activist and environmentalist. His artworks and centres of art and culture can be seen all over the island and most fuse the island’s amazing volcanic landscape with his own creative aesthetic. His guiding principle, above all else, was to work in harmony with nature and from a young age he was totally consumed by the unique beauty of Lanzarote and wanted to share this with others. Seeing Manrique’s vision and the positive influence he has had on the island and how much joy his diverse projects bring to so many people was most inspiring and was a brilliant way to start the year.