Suffolk Residency Part II


I have the whole day off tomorrow and I will finally get back in my studio to pull up the threads of my residency. It involves a lot of looking back, going past the exhibition and in fact past the launch of Islington Exhibits itself, and if it feels to you that this is a lot of jumping around from one subject to another, then welcome to the inside of my head.

In the last couple of days in Suffolk, the thing that I really liked was the way that common and ordinary plants grew. On some plants, leaves grew by peeling away from the stem so that it was hard to say which it was, stem or leaf, and I loved the fact that when a twig grows from the main branch, the concentric circles that grow around the base, look like a bendy straw.

On the last night, Fran, Bill and I were talking about London and how my experience in Suffolk might affect how I view the city. The idea in my head was that I would have a new enthusiasm for being in London’s green spaces. However, walking out of Stoke Newington Station, the thing that I got depressed about was how little the ‘green’ areas in London corresponded to the Suffolk countryside.

In Suffolk, bracken, poppies and other wild flowers grew over, under and side by side with each other with wild abandonment. In London, it’s not just that cross fertilisation is not encouraged, I’m not sure its even possible. On the street, each tree is surrounded by a square of pebble glue that looks like peanut brittle and even in Clissold Park the plants and trees are tiered around the edges of the lawns.

I’ve felt little of the things that excited me in Suffolk about the way that plants grew and connected. So what has been on my mind over the last couple of weeks is to look at house plants and how they are kept and tended. Most people I know have a plant of one kind or another and I think I might enjoy drawing from these. It also feels like there’s an interesting link to the drawings of my studio objects, and the way that that work ended up revealing a relationship between object, place and person.

Admittedly this is a lot to fit in in one day but however it goes, it will be bliss to be making and doing again.