Artwork in Focus - Daydream
Oil on canvas 70x70cm - 2021
Travelling Without Travelling
When I first met my husband we had a conversation about travelling, he has travelled a lot throughout the world from a fairly young age going Inter-railing through Europe with a friend and then later to Australia, Nepal and lots of other exotic places.
I hadn’t travelled widely - coming from a large family we would take day trips to the seaside but not travel overseas and then as a young adult I never had the money to travel very far but I alway felt as though I had and I said to him that I travelled in my mind. And I did - from a young age I went all over the universe and all over the world and into other worlds. From books and from my imagination I went to far flung lands.
My first memory of trying to catch these places on paper was a watercolour painting I did around the age of 10 or 11 - There would have been earlier ones but this was a conscientious act to capture in this world a place I saw only in my mind and I remember how difficult it was to bring out something which so familiar.
It was an abstraction of the clouds - I saw lakes in between them, and they became mountains. A land in the sky, full of reds and orange pools and swirling, rolling blue-grey hills.
Daydream is a homage to that painting - and to the human imagination. We are so busy all the time - so absorbed or distracted by the things around us that the older we get the less time we give to those other worlds - those inner places we travelled to as children.
I wanted to give form to the experience of daydreaming - to allow space to drift into myself and encourage others to do the same.
Daydeam is from my Yielding collection - Paintings exploring the idea of softness as strength - Taking inspiration from the Taoist Philosophy "The softest thing can overcome the hardest" Lao Tsu
These paintings take forms from smoke, fire, water and air - and have my artists characteristic gestural brushwork.
I think that a form of strength is the strength the resist the constant pressure to be productive, to be doing all the time. To make space for quiet contemplation or daydreaming, to travel in our imaginative worlds. As children we do this, we create creatures, places and stories that are so real, we can talk to them, step into them and be emotionally connected to them.
I hope that Daydream brings this sense of wonder and imagination to the space it inhabits and inspires the viewer to add their own story.
I took inspiration from the forms and the feeling of waterlilles or blossom as it falls into a stream- they feel like wishes or dreams floating away into the unknown.
This idea of art as a means of imaginative travel has always been present in my work. I know that the illustrations from books I looked at as child were so important to me, I loved looking at the Bhagavad gita - My Mum had a copy and though the text was dense because it was a grown up book. It had these wonderful illustrations of the Hindu Gods and so I felt like I knew them.