Have you ever felt disconnected from nature? Do you only capture its beauty fleetingly, rushing through your daily life? I have a one-word suggestion for you...
The wonder of the bud and the explosion of thousands of unfurling petals creating a cocofferny and mass majesty of blooms. Nature trumpeting spring, life and infinite possibilities! We lose so much connection of humanness when we forget the seasons apart from the disruptive side of its nature. Sometimes we can feel like we’re grating against it rather than basking with it in harmony, sharing the season’s joy. To me there are few greater weighted displays of nature’s celebration than the fresh fizz of 'Blossom'. The blossoms are transient, urgent for their life, and then they’re gone.
'Blossom' is my exciting arts project, which has been supported by the Arts Council England, the National Lottery and Arts Derbyshire. I was artist in residence within the fruit orchards at the National Trust's Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire. I painted blossoms as they burst into life,recording their beauty from bud to petal fall, whilst engaging with the public encouraging them to paint alongside me.
What was my aim?
To study the blossoms, exploring their transient nature and delicacy, celebrating their arrival then connecting to the loss when they disappeared. To create and exhibit blossom paintings on a large scale and build upon my techniques experimenting with new methods. I worked with intensity, building upon my strategy to engage audiences across all ages, encouraging people to be creative. The paintings were created on site, under blossom trees, a new challenge and contrast to my usual studio-based work. My objective was to bring communities together united in valuing the blossom, sharing the wonder and hopefully helping develop a sense of pride in the community. During the project I set up 'Pop up' Blossom Studios at the Quad, Derby, in Chaddesden and also at Hardwick Hall. Within the studios I shared the blossom work in progress, community artwork and offered interactive blossom activities. I held creative workshops in schools and for family groups in Chaddesden Children's Centre, based on celebrating the blossom.
See the blossoms each spring, enjoy, take your sketch books, paints and brushes, and capture a place in time and reconnect- if only for that moment.
If they were not here on our planet, if they didn't bloom, what would we miss?
What if we were separated from nature and lived only remotely in an electrified wire filled world and lost connection to nature completely? What if we forgot we were any part of it?
For me my life would ache with the loss, nature is as grounding to me as it is uplifting!
FROM BUD TO PETAL FALL