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RIVER CRANE: a local site-specific project

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 and an ideal place to explore plants growing in the wild.  Near me, it mainly runs along the back of private gardens. However, I can access it via 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 generally draw on large sheets of pristine white cartridge paper and paint 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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