I had been making work from newspaper for 16 years or so and then, just under 2 years ago I had a spinal injury and I could no longer walk. I went into lockdown way before most did and so did my art practice, I lost confidence and direction and wasn’t sure how to reignite it.
Mid way through the pandemic lockdown that changed. I loved lockdown. Cosy at home with my son not needing to try to fit in with the manic world. Not needing to find a route via wheelchair for something resembling a new normality but not the new normal the world talked of. I began to make work again. Perhaps the pressure being taken off me was what created that spark. Whatever it was I am grateful. I am oil painting and creating digital collages and I am, once again, part of a community of artists. I am out of isolation.
Eye level is different for everyone so perspectives aren’t ever the same. As a new wheelchair user my eye level has literally given me new horizons. Sometimes this is good, I’m not going to fall over so I look up more at the sky and trees. Sometimes, less desirable, in a crowded room or street I am often at groin or buttock level.
The digital compositions show, with humour, the things I can’t easily access and have to be fought for through layers of need and new priority. They preference spines, legs and medication symbolised by toadstools and yew trees also representing mortality. All veiling and constraining the nature I am desperate to connect with.