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  • Rob

Watching Windows

Something else that was discussed in my consultation with Tess, that was also frequently picked up by my tutors at uni, is that the majority of my image making tends to float. By that, I mean that I'd draw a figure or an object without much consideration to fixing it in a space. When this critique was given by my tutors, I mistakenly thought that they meant I needed to incorporate more landscapes, buildings, interiors, etc in my work. However, discussing the same issue with Tess, it became clear that what was missing wasn't rolling hills or a chaise longue, what was missing was context, a considered texture, pattern, or abstract shapes could suffice in supporting the image and add continuity to a series of images. Or at least that is how I now understand the advice.


With the start of lockdown 2.0 has also come a creative malaise. I was quite pleased with my productivity through the first one, and with hours dwindling at the day job, any opportunity to work towards creative solvency really can't be squandered, so I view this second period of furlough as an opportunity to focus on Tess' advice. But it doesn't work like that, does it? I don't know if being given clear guidance on how to progress my creative career has stoked the fear of failure or whether it's simply a lack of social and visual stimuli that would usually influence my work, but putting pen to paper doesn't seem as uninhibited this time around.


When we were clapping for the NHS, there was a unique solidarity ignited by catching the eye of a neighbour you'd perhaps never spoken to, that I think many of us took comfort in. Now apathy has set in and we're all hiding behind our curtains binging Netflix, I often find myself stood gazing out of the window hoping to catch a glimpse of someone performing a mundane ritual. Am I seeking comfort, reassurance, or just something more entertaining than the Haunting of Bly Manor? I don't know, but it has lead to the genesis of a new project.


I have started a collection of quick contour drawings describing windows of buildings I can see from my apartment, which I hope will provide the context to a series of illustrations with my neighbours at the heart. I would talk about it more, but I've not really figured out what I'm doing with it yet. How to combine the figurative elements with the architectural to produce something pleasing to the eye as yet, alludes me.


Watch this space.




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