It’s difficult to know where to start after having a big break from blogging. Having said that, the ideas have not been thin on the ground- they’ve been constantly following me around on my travels. So I’ve got quite a lot to write about. It’s only now I’ve found time to sit down re-think these ideas and get them out of my head.
It was kind of strange for me, because my practice has always had a very key Englishness about it. It’s focus being- British homes, British objects and more recently- our social class system. That’s always been what I’ve been surrounded by I suppose. So how did being on the other side of the world affect my thinking? I think for some they may have felt swayed to delve into these new cultures; Australia, New Zealand and especially Bali’s unique way of life but for me I only saw it as a comparison to our British homes and lifestyle.
The main idea I’ve come away with is one that I touched on in Townsville, when we visited the remote village of Paluma, and that’s this: In truth it’s only our corner of the world that really matters to any individual.
Our sanctuary, our world, the world we know and care about, our family and friends, the place we find shelter and the place we know inside out. It’s the place we call home. Whether that’s in the secluded township of Otira (in the Southern Alps of NZ), or busy Ubud, or Watersedge Motel on The Strand or even in a caravan in Ullswater (the place I call my home)- It’s our corner of the world.
Been feeling some arty vibes this last week! I started doing some sketching in my little travel book. Then last week a little hung over on our road trip through the desolate areas of North Queensland, I had a bit of a revelation and felt excited about wanting to make work again. I’d planned to create some work to respond to an exhibition call out at Umbrella Studios in Townsville. They hold an annual postcard exhibition and I thought it would be pretty cool to have my work shown in Australia, as well as give me the incentive to make some work again. The work I have made highlights the environmental issues faced in North Queensland as the exhibition urges us to consider, yet focuses on ideas concerning our homes, our geography in the world, and the path which I’m currently making through the world.
We drove through remote towns, endless sugar cane and banana trees and every now and again right in the middle of nowhere there would be one lonely house. I just kept on wondering who on earth would want to live there? I developed a fascination with these remote Queenslanders. I knew I wanted to start to draw these remarkable buildings- but began asking myself why? I don’t live in one of these homes- they just seemed so iconic. Something began to tick and I started to think about the way I’m drifting in Queensland, no permanent home. I love painting on wood and began to consider the idea of driftwood- drifting through Queensland.
(The images above show some Queenslander homes in the remote village of Paluma- a villiage situated 1000m above sea level in the mountain range of a tropical rainforest.)