During this journey I have had to make reference to events in the world and close to home. I have found the last year very unsettling, as have many, and am still finding myself quite depressed by it all at times, especially by the referendum result.
I know that I don’t have serious depression, but I have found these comments on a question and answer site called Quora, and they help to explain why I have produced my next piece of work:
Depression is a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. When everything you believe in is crushed. When your strongly held beliefs are shown to be useless, one can certainly fall into depression. You can fall into depression about anything you feel strongly about when you feel helpless to change it. Running out of hope and losing the ability to affect change can profoundly affect one’s mental health. However, the world will go on with or without us and our worries. We can sacrifice ourselves to the bad choices of others, or we can create the best possible life we can and be the best possible influence we can within our actual sphere of influence.
I have used a quote from Richard III as part of the DNA of our country being split. The DNA strands were particularly challenging to draw.
On Newsnight on BBC 1, I saw a graphic image showing the United Kingdom as a pool of blood and I decided to use this as an element of my painting. I have had to research the difference between the use of the terms Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and The British Isles, in order to include the parts that voted in the referendum on June 23rd. This was interesting in itself, and I learned new facts, or perhaps remembered ones from my past.
Great Britain is an island that consists of three somewhat autonomous regions that include England, Scotland, and Wales. It is located east of Ireland and northwest of France in the Atlantic Ocean.
The United Kingdom The United Kingdom is a country that includes England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Its official name is “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.” England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are often mistaken as names of countries, but they are only a part of the United Kingdom.
The British Isles
The British Isles is another term altogether and encompasses Great Britain, the island of Ireland, and several other smaller islands, such as the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man is not a part of the United Kingdom or the European Union, even though its Lord is the Monarch of the United Kingdom.
I added parts of the flags of the EU, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and the Union Jack to form a backdrop, to illustrate the pain of the situation. The flag of Wales, including the Welsh dragon, does not appear on the flag because when the first Union Flag was created in 1606, Wales was already united with England from the 13th century. This meant that Wales a Principality instead of a Kingdom and as such could not be included.
On a lighter, happier note, I painted ideas for a textile piece related to the embroidered tea cosy, but using imagery from my son’s childhood (Mario and Toad from the Mario Brothers computer games) as well as imagery from the early embroidery. I began by making drawings in my sketchbook then planning out the painting.
I added some colour as well as masking fluid before and after the layers of paint, letting the both dry thoroughly before the next layer.
Then I added stronger washes to build the colour intensity, and added more areas of masking fluid.
Removing the masking fluid at the end revealed lighter ‘beads’ of contrasting colours.
I have almost completed my ideas sheet of 24 images, which has become more detailed and complex than I imagined. My next aim is to plan a number of larger works using some of these ideas to facilitate my paintings and textiles.