As soon as lockdown was announced I endeavoured to adapt and continue developing my artistic practice as much as possible. What actually happened was I ended up playing with Lego.
In fairness I began in earnest; visiting my studio at the end of March in order to pack as many things as possible into a few suitcases and construct a studio of sorts in my dining room. Proudly, I arranged my bottles, essential oils and paints orderly and took a few pictures for the inevitable Instagram post.
For a fair few weeks these materials mostly sat idle. Perhaps the process of adapting took longer than expected, as a slew of cancelled or postponed projects combined with a stark recalculation of finances to take hold on my state of mind. This, alongside a general lack of motivation when I try to work from home, meant that any creative output was reserved, not for perfumery, but curiously, Lego.
Making Lego sets based on the theme of isolation relaxed my mind and provided a rather joyful means of escapism. From a yeti living in an igloo to a sailor stranded on an Island, thinking of scenarios for Lego minifigues within the context of isolation was challenging and varied while being carefree. A cathartic, cleansing process that equipped me for the next step; getting back to doing some ‘proper’ artwork.
In fairness, I resumed in earnest. From the latter part of April, a renewed vigour for professional practice took hold. Since then I made a video for BasementArtsProject, began setting up on online shop, created two commercial fragrances, started making a video for Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and started researching future exhibition opportunities. Quite a jump in activity, no doubt ignited by the realisation that that spending all day at home, while by no means coming to an end, won’t be forever, so I should make the most of the opportunity.
And perhaps I’m judging my relative inactivity prior too harshly. After all we have all developed our own strategies for coping with lockdown; each perfectly valid. And it’s not like my professional practice lay completely dormant, as I co-devised and co-curated an online exhibition over on Instagram, called Fronteer Lockdown, from the end of March and I made a live video for Artcore, Derby at the beginning of April.
So while I am cautiously looking to the future I can tentatively claim to be proud of what I am achieving during lockdown. And I’m still tinkering with a bit of Lego.