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'Lockdown 1 - Soil, charred wood, slate, tile willow dye, botanical print, rust print and acrylic on canvas and silk.

"Our collective aim to create site specific work, gathering natural earth colour and transforming it into paint had only just begun when lockdown hit shortly into our first body of work in early 2020. Understandably frustrated and at a loss, unable to complete the work at that time, we set the wheels in motion to create a lockdown piece when time would allow. Gathering pigments from my garden, astonished to find a whole collection of colour in my backyard I would begin the time consuming process of grinding it all into usable pigment whilst stuck at home.

At the same time Nic went on a pigment hunt in her nearby woods Arrowe Brooke where she spent many a day on walks with her family.

After hours of processing, Nic's pigment collection joined my own to create the most poignant and meaningful work for us at a time when the narrative was very much 'stay at home'. In a year that saw us physically distanced, we found connection to each other and our homes through our creativity." - Ange

Setting the scene at Arrowe Brooke when we were finally allowed to meet outdoors, we dangled our canvas over a waterfall, dropped it in, fished it out and then stamped it into the mud! These early layers are always put down with wild abandon and are arguably the most fun part of the process.

"All of the emotion we feel on location, the freedom, the fun and the laughs go into each mark we make. The physicality of it's creation becomes embedded, the marks are like a memory of our presence there, from the tread of my wellies to the sole of Angie's sandals and the odd paw print too!" - Nic

"On a piece of raw silk that was given to me during lockdown, I did what any recipient would do with a beautiful piece of silk would do...... I covered it with pigment, and steamed it with various leaves and foliage from around my garden! But in all seriousness, how perfectly fitting to use something gifted in an emotive piece of work.

Ethereal petal prints infused on silk, those marks may not be visible on the final piece but they are there, hidden, a part of the story. A dye made from discarded willow sticks used in winter wreath making and printed rose leaves, all combine on my side of the work." - Ange.

"Working with dense black is my absolute fav but finding a site specific pigment can be a challenge. So for this work, I collected some wood from the undergrowth at Arrowe Brooke and burnt it in a fire at home to make this rich black pigment! It's site specific but also part of my family lockdown story of cozy nights around the fire in the garden. This has gone on to be a staple process in many of our consecutive works since, creating a black from every place we work from. I layered this with the soil, rocks and water collected from the waterfall." - Nic

Finishing it off with a rust print that ran across both sides in what became very literal 'landlines'. They create a physical connection between our two sides of the work and represent a connectedness during a time when we were all forced apart, the epitome of what we are all about. The serendipitous nature of our work can be thrilling at times, and these marks became so crucial to the overall piece that we even changed the finished dimensions to accommodate the composition which required us to order new stretcher bars at the last minute!

'Lockdown 2 - Soil, charred wood, slate, tile willow dye, botanical print, rust print, acrylic and gold stitch detail on canvas and silk.

Lockdown 2, the sister piece to Lockdown 1 was, in true 2020 style, not without its challenges. Thanks to a little (big at the time) accident, we looked to the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, using gold thread to find beauty in imperfection, a fitting metaphorical representation of making the best of a year that was both challenging and flawed.


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