During this period of isolation I have been making small paintings on pieces of old food packaging. Instead of throwing the cereal boxes, egg boxes and pizza boxes into the recycling I decided to make them into miniature canvases. The surfaces I choose to paint on have always been important to me because they add to the story of the artwork, I like that there is nothing grandiose about an old piece of cereal box, and I like that it is something from my home and I am using the materials that are available to me.
These last few weeks I have found that my sense of time is different, there is no need to rush around from one place to another but instead to experience each day as it comes. For the first time in years I feel rested, and despite the fear and the sorrow and disbelief at the situation, I feel a strange sense of calm. I decided early on in the lockdown that I wanted to use this time to make a series of paintings that I wouldn’t usually make, no justification or rationalization but simply to paint things because I want to. I am often driven to make art that has an element of social commentary, it is often political - I still want to make this kind of work, but I’m keen to allow myself to withdraw from it occasionally. My art also tends to be autobiographical and during this period of time I want to follow my intuition and create a genuine and personal response to the experience.
The everyday, the mundane or overlooked details of domestic routine are themes that have begun to appear in my artwork over the last couple of years, and during this period of isolation I have continued to explore this. I am fascinated by everyday moments and the little rituals and routines we take for granted. As I go about my days I make mental notes and take photos on my phone of the things that I want to paint, out on a walk through the local streets or time at home with the kids. Then in the evenings once the kids are in bed I can begin to paint and it’s liberating.