I was on the phone to Annie – she said she was making corona virus related art with Shivani from afar. I started thinking. Nicked the idea basically. I scribbled a few lines of text on my phone. No brief or theme just – hey, make something on Friday. Sent it to a few of my friends and asked Annie to send to a few of hers. Aaaand here we are.
I wrote this blurb before receiving all the pieces. I’ll keep it brief as there is far more & far better to consume below – but I am compelled to add – I can’t believe this. I am stunned and moved by all of the creativity and dedication that has coalesced below. All of you took a few hastily scribble words and ran with it. Your hearts and minds are full of beauty. Thank you for sharing.
(Displayed in order the pieces were received)
Audio Hardware Archive
Rob sent me over your message to him: creating something in a day and sending it out, so hope you don’t mind I also got involved! Decided to make a website acting as an archive for old Audio Hardware and their samples, you can see it here -> https://martinfoakes.github.io/audio-hardware-archive/ Obvs still a WIP and rushed together, I’m going to carry it on as a side project and add as many samples I can get my hands on.
Winter, The most pawfect dawg x
Made from one piece of old scrap wood we had lying around. And a lamp that was broken. Fixed/cut/sanded/varnished. Done.
A little clay-‘over-it’-charlie head who just wants to crawl into bed for a while.. + quick pre supper poem to inspire him otherwise
OPEN YOUR EYES, CHARLIE.
“I want to sleep until all this is done”
But with eyes closed you’ll miss the spring that’s sprung
Your ears will be shut from choral bird song
And you’ll skip the rights beyond toilet roll wrongs
From these crazy old times
Bloom natures own rhymes
Look closer Charlie, and then look again
Theres beauty that I just cant comprehend
Medical heroes met with a nations applaud
The singing from balconies that neighbours have roared
Look beyond Eton’s golden boy, BJ
Who makes you want to stay in bed all day
The worlds in pain and there’s grief still to come
But there’s reason to open your eyes Charlie, I promise you chum!
A lot of the things I write start life as a long chain of uninterrupted thoughts. Silently my head is bursting with noise – words flowing at great speed and ferocity, rhythmically, coherently, colourfully. It happens so fast all I can do is listen. If I’m lucky, a few lines echo long enough for me to scribble them down. I often think, if only I’d had a tape recorder stuffed in my head. There have even been times – often on long drives and bike rides – where the words have bounced around so ferociously I’ve been bold enough to think about performing. Open mic? Poetry slam? Somewhere. Anywhere. If it could just happen out there instead of in here. Well, hell, why not now? I couldn’t possibly. Go on, I dare you. Well I suppose I could. Can I use it as an excuse to play with the camcorder? Whatever floats your dingo. So I did it. And to make it all relevant and stuff I started with the word Corona. Ooooh how CONTEMPORARY of you Rodney. Full of beans, I began…
What follows is a lesson in flopping (dis)honestly, performing the self and editing. And, mostly, frolics with a Mini DV camera.
The Children of Castellanos de Villiquera
I’ve gotta be honest, I found it really really hard to create something in one day from nothing! I ended up working on previously half formed ideas, because nothing new was coming. But I want another crack, so please do more of these, it’s a lovely idea!
There’s a long way to go for it yet as a tune – it’s a bit bloated, too long and with not enough structure. But the point is to be less precious, so here it is:
It’s currently, for no particular thematic reason, called The Children of Castellanos de Villiquera, and should anybody want to take any part of it and do anything with it they’re more than welcome to – I’m always interested in people taking the little seeds of nonsense that I make, planting them somewhere else and seeing what grows from them.
To Be Near You,
Triptych of Pencil Sketches, 8.3 x 24.3 inches, 03/04/20
To Be Near You, is a visual and practical response to how social distancing and isolation are impacting my relationships and interactions. The triptych depicts portraits of people I miss most.
The intimacy of drawing provided me with a sense of closeness to those featured. My sister, Sophie is isolating 20 minutes away from our farm, Nantgwynfaen in rural West Wales. She comes to visit us daily but this is illegal. We have been keeping a 2m distance between us at all times. We now use WhatsApp for the majority of our communication. My partner, Ismar is situated in Surrey – the furthest away from me out of the three. All of our communication is now conducted through WhatsApp, video call, email and letters. The absence of body language and tactile connection has made us think creatively and objectively about how we interact with one another. My Grandma, Carol lives 5 minutes away from our farm. She comes to visit us occasionally but this is illegal. We have been keeping a 2m distance between us at all times. We also use WhatsApp for the majority of our conversation. It is fascinating that a microscopic virus has the power to drive such vast amounts of space between the people we are closest to.
Using their selfies as reference imagery was another way to show how people are trying to create a sense of closeness through through the act of sending and receiving photos. I am interested in the interplay of authorship between myself as an artist and the person taking the selfie. By using imagery sourced from a social media platform, the consequential loss of artistic control feels symbolic of the situation we find ourselves in.
Isolation has lead to increased engagement with craft based activities. People are dependant on listening and creating music, reading books and poetry, baking, gardening, drawing, writing, watching films and making videos to occupy themselves during isolation. Using this means of communication highlights how art and creativity are integral to human functionality and its powers to improve and maintain people’s well-being. With the majority of my tools and materials left behind in Surrey, I am having to go back to basics and think creatively about which materials I am able to use as a contemporary artist. Reduced to a pencil, the simplest of tools, I am aware of a ‘back to basics’ sense of humbleness about the process, which reflects the way life has become for us all.
THE OROCCULAR WADDINGTON
Humphry Davy invented The Davy Lamp in 1815. His Great, Great, Great, Great Niece … Georgina Davy, invented The Oroccular Waddington in 2020. This saltsaline, waterword processing machine, takes samples of sea water and turns the findings into accurate worded descriptions of colour, which it then prints out on to a continuous scroll of parchment.
Todays colour reading on The Oroccular Waddington was taken from The Irish Sea at 11:32am, Saturday 4th March 2020, the result:
‘Tepid sludge bath of chemicals and porridge’.
Yesterday’s reading at 15:45pm from The same Irish Sea:
‘Dead Shark under stark laboratory lighting’.
According to The Oroccular Waddington, tomorrows forecast is:
‘Concrete rotisserie rollerdarby’.
The Oroccular Waddington cannot be bought from any local or international proprietor. These are highly selective machines, that prefer to choose their owners. Now set to travel onwards, it is rumoured that The Oroccular Waddington is making its way towards Boscastle.
Miss. G. L. Davy
Sophie Jo Edwards
Homemade potato and spinach curry, accompanied by freshly baked nigella seed naan (the best naan’s we’ve ever eaten), ft a smug old badger.
Embracing the slower pace of life by whittling away at a piece of drift wood from Aberaeron beach.