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Anchor 2


Site-specific work

The River Crane project came out of my series of large-scale charcoal drawings of wildflowers and weeds. Choosing to draw plants that grow in the wild, I wish to give them equal status to cultivated plants. We look at plants for their beauty but their role in supporting our ecosystem and natural world is fundamental: without them, humans would not be here. These wild plants are both beautiful and vulnerable so I wish to both highlight their beauty and expose and explore their fragility.

The River Crane is a Thames tributary that in 1990 was designated a Site of Metropolitan importance for its biodiversity and unique tidal habitat. It is a 10 minute walk from my studio. Here, it mainly runs along the back of private gardens and my access to it is down a ramp from which I can wade along the river itself, rather than walking along any footpath. This gives me privileged access to the river life and marginal plant life that I am constantly grateful for. 

One outcome of walking along a muddy riverbed collecting plants to work with is that it has changed the surfaces that I choose to draw and paint on - I was drawing on large sheets of pristine white cartridge paper and painting on primed, stretched canvas: these surfaces have now morphed into something older, often recycled plywood or pictures, stained by rain or river water. I have been using the river water to make my own paper and ink, collecting oak galls from trees near the river for making the ink. 

Writing my process

I started accumulating photos and notes from day one and decided a blog would help organise them and my thoughts. And by documenting the process, the narrative is also becoming part of the work.



Artists Newsletter Blog: Waders and Sketchbook

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