As the commission comes to a close I am looking back at the artworks that have been created and the relationships formed during the process.
During vists to the Glasshouses based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital I met many lovely and talented artists.
Works of one partcilaur artists drew me, I got lost in looking at their work, the endless lines, the prescion and the way they were executed. A collaboration between them and myself occurred oragaincally during one studio session. A easel sat upon the desk with a large piece of paper tentively stuck on. The paper looked vast but invited marks to be made. The artist is mainly nonverbal, the whole piece was created through a silent communication, where I took the lead from the artist. Taking a pen they started to make small drawings in different areas of the paper, they all appeared to sit alone, floating with no correlation to each other, rich in overlapping lines, delicate forms were created. Looking to me and nodding towards the paint, together we made cardboard tools to make marks with. As the paint went onto the paper it started to unite the piece together, dabbing and dragging the paint across the page brought a sense of flow to the image. The artist sat back and nodded to indicate they were done and it was now time for them to leave.
Contuning the collaborative process and with the artists permission I took a form created in the large piece and made a illustration to respond to the process of creating the large work together.
Togther it was named Pylons. By repeating the form in paper cut outs I wished to echo the feeling of repetition in the marks and lines made in the larger piece.
The works are exhibited in the Western General in Edinburgh until the close of March.
For the past four months I have had the pleasure of being commissioned by Artlink to work with staff and patients from the Royal Edinburgh hospital, Western General, St Johns and the Royal Infirmary. Part of this commission was to set a theme and create a exhibition of staff and patients work with my own working sitting alongside it.
As a part of the process I got to enter into the NHS archives at Edinburgh University. I read so many fascinating stories of patients and staff, their relationships and how the NHS looked over 100 years ago.
Combining historical narratives and modern narratives there appeared to be a common thread. The process of creating art appeared to be a form of escapism, whether it was to relax after a long shift or a way to come together in open studio sessions to socialise and share ideas.
Combining my research and experience of meeting people, I created a narrative that depicts a blackbird finding a thread. The blackbird was chosen based on research where in the 1800’s several patients took to birdwatching or collecting images of birds to pass their time whilst in hospital. I kept a record of the birds I saw as I travelled to the hospitals, and the blackbird made the most appearances. The blackbird takes the thread and passes it to another blackbird. The idea reflects the coming together of people to share ideas over coffee and tea, ideas being formed and coming into being.
I feel very lucky to have met so many different people from so many different walks of life. Hearing their stories, ideas being shared, watching art works come to life and the how the process brings people together, the artwork becoming the common thread.
The exhibition is now open to the public in The Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, in the link corridor, from the Anne Ferguson building to the Andrew Duncan building.
More images to come after official opening in a few weeks time.