I find that the same themes, with variations, appear over and over in my work. These include the rainforest, landscape, natural history collections, birds, the sea. However, one piece of subject matter to which I have frequently returned is extremely close to home. This is our small, suburban back garden. It has appeared in many pieces work, and has influenced countless others. I have been looking out at it and looking after it for nearly 37 years, so obviously it’s fairly profoundly etched into my conscious and subconscious mind.
So, when people ask where I get my ideas from, I often list those inspirations above. But I could make work based upon our garden forever. It’s small, crowded, interesting, not perfect, houses a pond with two ancient quite ugly fish, of whom I am very fond, has something going on throughout the seasons and entertains a good variety of birds. At the moment, there is an open space beyond the garden, which in winter affords a different dimension and sense of distance, as well as foxes and badgers. So I count myself as very lucky indeed, and what follows are some pieces of work inspired by this little plot.
Firstly, The Summer Gardens is an artist’s book I made a couple of years ago, which hasn’t been out and about very much. I may take it to a couple of shows this year. Below are some images of it’s making and pages, some of which, shown here, are based upon our garden.
Below, a number of pieces either of the garden, or in the case of the last four images, work that was inspired by the garden and that have become woodland pieces. This is no surprise as the garden has a few [over] large trees and we are overlooked by even larger trees too.
So, there we are, close to home and plenty to be going on with.
All the pieces of work are between A3 and A1 in size.