Partly because of lockdown, I’ve broadened my practice and embraced technology. This film Life in the Undergrowth documents my 2020... Read More
Partly because of lockdown, I’ve broadened my practice and embraced technology. This film Life in the Undergrowth documents my 2020 isolation project and represents my first serious experiments with film-making.
In isolation, I experienced various forms of grief and joy. I began taking life at a slower pace, sowing veggie seeds, and mending things. Appreciating, observing and attending to nature seemed vital. My garden, until then somewhat neglected, became my world and route to wellbeing, providing a sense of peace and purpose. My lockdown project Life in the Undergrowth was inspired by small hidden worlds in the garden that often get overlooked. It became a circular process - garden feeding art and art feeding garden.
A fascination with the entanglement of roots, worms and shoots in upturned turf led toexperimental responses using to-hand materials and found objects. I drew knotted clumps; dried pondweed, sun-bleached, became paper; handmade tools from natural debris generated drawings and sculptural works evolved.
While digging the earth, I found a glut of old rusty nails to use in my work. I sold my soil locally - creating a circular economy. Communing with small creatures, witnessing transformation, life and death, it has been emotional at times. Themes and stories emerged, some wonderful, others very sad. Encounters between myself, garden as site and nature helped me form a stronger bond with all that comes and goes. The deep seclusion allowed time and space to process, surrender to the moment, and create awkward objects through a gentle tacit dialogue.