My present work is a coming together of several strands which I am searching to express as a comprehensive whole.
Issues which interest me relate to distinguishing the placement of people in historical and ethical contexts. I am greatly interested in history; the unearthing of our ordinary and extraordinary past, our ancestry and our cultures help to put us in context.Why ignore one's origins?
The forgetting of the past obliterates our own knowing of how we come to be as we are, here in the current time and location. The visible reminders are largely gone, the stories of our coming into being trodden aside by the endless sweep of change. One strand of my work is to allow the connections between apparently disparate groups to be rediscovered.
I use domestic cloths to represent the past cotton industry which dominated not only my birth region of the north West of England but also the great continents of Africa, India and North America and more. The cloths are symbolic of social changes and industrial developments which still have repercussions today. Yet out of hardships came bold movements by oppressed peoples which are an inspiration for ensuing generations.
My paintings are complex, apparently simple yet with underlying
layers of concepts.
The motifs I choose to work with represent two other strands of inheritance and connection.
Thinking, did I make the right choice getting online before I'd finalised inteselfragments website?
Well yes, because I want to share the progress, making it a living website. Part of the Inclusive approach.
I'm going to be busy for a couple of weeks - very busy- painting and designing cards and making some lino cut prints with my tiny cheap press. Which is effective and lightweight. So the next web development will be the shop with prices for prints etc.-
I will be posting on the updates page; intend to make a new page for work in progress and keep the updates page for news only.
I've posted an image of Backbarrow cotton mill - now the Whitewater Hotel, because it relates closely to my current paintings. For many years, the new factory system flourished by using the free labour of 'apprentices'. These were children of poor people in parishes from distant regions. Many in Backbarrow came from London parishes.
They weren't apprentices as we know the term - they weren't even guaranteed work once they finished their term at the age of twenty one. Imprisoned in their dormitories, working long hours on very meagre diets they must have suffered greatly.
Backbarrow is a beautiful place with a forgotten past of industrialisation and exploitation.
I use domestic cloths in my paintings as reminders of this past which is echoed throughout the northwest. Many of my ancestors worked in cotton mills around Ashton under Lyne and Droylsden, many had to work from the age of thirteen as power loom weavers. The handloom weavers were driven out by the industrialisation of their trade, replaced as family providers by their young daughters and sons.
Image below: detail from a tray cloth glued onto canvas.
My blog isn't restricted to writing about art artists and all about art. It's my excuse to write about anything that drifts into my head. Art isn't about art, it's about reacting to the external and internal realities we experience mingled with a good deal of fantasy.