During September and October 2021 I was involved in a project run by The Art Doctors and Arts and Minds Leeds.
Six Leeds artists met with the curator of modern art at Leeds Art Gallery to chat about a selection of paintings and images held in the galleries collection.
We were invited to make artwork in response to the art shown in these sessions and given the opportunity to exhibit the pieces in Leeds Art Gallery during November 2021 through to January 2022.
The work I produced is inspired by Robert Bevan’s painting titled ‘Dunnes Cottage’. Bevan was the founder member of the Camden Town Group who were regularly invited to spend time at the Applehayes Estate, Clayhidon in the Blackdown Hills. Bevan painted many scenes of the estate and the surrounding countryside including Dunn’s Cottage
The painting of Dunnes Cottage includes a lone figure tending the gardens around the estate and it was this scene that reminded me of other artists that have lived and created work together in beautiful rural settings. When I visited Charleston House (home of The Bloomsbury Group) some years ago I was reminded of the privileged artist able to live and work in beautiful, inspiring surrounding unencumbered by daily chores. There were often house keepers, cooks and gardeners to attend to the artists daily needs leaving them free to develop their craft. This lone figure and others like him, will have played an important role in creating and maintaining these idyllic environments. We know very little about these men and women or acknowledge their efforts to nurture the land and its inhabitants. My work puts the ‘lone figure’ centre stage as a reminder to acknowledge those who support others to follow their dreams and achieve their potential.
The photographs show work in progress.
- Embroidery. Thread and glass beads on hand dye, recycled canvas cloth and linen.
- Glass Dome, hand painted flowers on recycled paper.
- Stitched figure, Cyanotype print on recycled canvas cloth.
Here is a link to the project where you can see the two pieces of work I decided to exhibit: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/virtual-visit/behind-the-scenes/