Sunday…with Paintings, Artists Open Houses and The Worldwide Tribe

May 15, 2016

Filed Under : Art - Brighton - colour - Open House - The Shed - trips

IMG_6791I find painting quite a temperamental part of my life; it’s almost like the painting part of me is a separate part of me who I hang out with periodically throughout the year.

The ideas have to sit with me for quite a while, almost to the point where I think I’m avoiding picking up my brushes, because I start to feel that the idea itself is inevitably going to outstrip my basic execution on the canvas…

I paint in 2 different ways: my synaesthetic paintings are an abstract meditation of my experience with the senses; I take away emotions connected to the sounds, smells and tastes and focus on what is actually happening visually in my head…sort of like notation.

My other paintings are emotionally based and often focus on how small and insignificant I feel within the elements; a feeling which I think keeps me aware of how much more powerful nature is, and which steers away from those hubristic feelings humans find so easily accessible.

I’ve found over the years that working on the combination of emotional paintings and synaesthetic paintings keeps me balanced…I have to work with both, and I have to give both their individual time…a bit like living with 2 very different children.

Back in February I visited the Calais Refugee Camp with The World Wide Tribe and Davorka Andjellic ( @tilly2milly on instagram ) to create a visual document and share the trip on Instagram and which I wrote about here the day before the French Police moved in and torched, tear gassed and bulldozed a large part of the camp and the same part we had spent most time in during our visit; the part with the church, the mosque, the school, the library, the first aid, the shops, the cafes…not to mention all the unaccompanied minors and displaced families…
Photo 27-02-2016, 15 02 55When I was at home I felt al sorts of emotions; anger, sadness, fear, relief, but I also had a feeling of helplessness…

Jaz, who set up the World Wide Tribe, had worked in fashion and travel but after visiting the camp last August became completely taken over by the overwhelming need to help people on a grass roots level within this crisis and has since become an incredible force for change and awareness with her close team.

I could completely see how this could happen as meeting people in the camp there; tender, intelligent and kind human beings, makes you so aware of how lucky you are and how helping them should be so easy…

But it’s not always that easy for many reasons…donating money is a great starting point as even if it’s a small amount it not only helps massively but it also makes you feel connected with the crisis. But I felt I should do more, but it’s impossible for me to turn my life around and spend a couple of months volunteering in one of the camps at this moment on my life: I am a single parent with a teenage son and I have masses of domestic responsibility…and so then again I was left feeling a bit pathetic and at a loss for what I could usefully contribute…

However, I am creative, and I thought that maybe that could somehow work to be my contribution…

The Worldwide Tribe champion creative and art based projects within their help programme, recognising the therapeutic benefits as well as how through art and film making the awareness of this crisis can gain a much wider awareness and appreciation, and I really believe it’s creatives who have a capacity and responsibility to highlight and shift social change…Photo 27-02-2016, 16 49 05Davorka and I were both inspired by the incredible structures in the camp; shelters which had been built by the refugees and volunteers together and which had all become personalised homes with individuality and a sense of privacy…IMG_3328Alpha was refugee and an artist and who adapted his shelter in an extraordinary way and became a gallery…
Photo 27-02-2016, 16 19 27As Davorka is a teacher, as soon as she was back at school she created a whole project with her class based around the idea of refugees and these shelters, their homes; helping children create such instinctive and brilliant responses which are below…Davorka children's work 2Davorka children's work 1Davorka children's work 3Davorka children's work 4Davorka children's work 5IMG_1606IMG_1607IMG_1608IMG_1609

My responses were slow…things percolated inside my head for a couple of months, but I couldn’t pick up a brush…

And then I realised that I should paint something to do with the structures themselves; the geometry and colour…and also what I couldn’t see inside…IMG_3340 Photo 27-02-2016, 17 00 12IMG_3339 Photo 27-02-2016, 15 23 42 IMG_3207Photo 27-02-2016, 14 49 51Photo 27-02-2016, 14 43 48I was also really struck by the massive use of gaffa and parcel tape within the camp…it’s a incredibly useful but obviously temporary tool, which summed up a lot of the transience for me…Photo 27-02-2016, 16 40 08 Photo 27-02-2016, 16 41 22 IMG_3269 And I also wanted to utilise the uncomfortable feelings I had about feeling a bit like a voyeur…I was taking photos of people’s homes; catching slices of their lives through odd shaped windows and gaffa taped shapes…Photo 27-02-2016, 15 03 36Photo 27-02-2016, 18 20 01Photo 27-02-2016, 18 00 12

So the paintings are basically about the inside and the outside view; the temporary, the shelter and the hope…

Each painting has a slice of golden outside; a peep at something better through weathered feelings and tarpaulin…IMG_6809

…these are some of my process shotsIMG_6737 IMG_6756 IMG_6742 IMG_6743 IMG_6744 IMG_6747 IMG_6754 IMG_6755 IMG_6757 IMG_6781IMG_6782 Photo 27-02-2016, 16 49 05IMG_6785 IMG_6786 IMG_6788 IMG_3362 IMG_6796 IMG_6794 IMG_6814 IMG_6810 IMG_6813 IMG_6812 IMG_6811 IMG_6808 IMG_6815 I wanted to create a collection of the paintings of different sizes to give the feeling of the shelters themselves.

They currently have their first showing in Brighton in the Artist’s Open Houses on the Fiveways Trail…IMG_8339 and it was a great feeling to see them put up all together on one wall last week…IMG_8327

The paintings are on display throughout May weekends in Brighton here at 3 Surrenden Road, BN1 6PA, and then they will  be shown at The Barbican as part of ‘Papers’ a one day festival of the art, culture and architecture of the refugee crisis being held on June 12th by The Architecture Foundation in connection with The Worldwide Tribe, and amazingly Alpha’s house which I mentioned earlier in the post will be reconstructed for the exhibition. ( You can have a look and also book tickets here

The paintings are for sale and 50% of the price will be directly donated to The Worldwide Tribe…( You can view and purchase them in my Big Cartel store here )

And if you would like to donate to The Worldwide Tribe you can easily do that here

In the next couple of months I will also be launching a really exciting digital and ceramic art project with The Worldwide Tribe, so will keep you posted here and on Instagram as well as all other social channels .Photo 18-04-2016, 14 43 05

 

3 thoughts on “Sunday…with Paintings, Artists Open Houses and The Worldwide Tribe

Comments are closed.