My first couple of months on this residency has been a whirlwind to say the least.
I didn't realise quite how difficult and strange it would be to uproot my life and move to a new city not knowing anyone, having to find a house, a job and friends - not to mention how that change can affect making art!
Its hard to balance work and studio time but naturally and patiently I've managed to settle in.
When I first got here I became familiar my surroundings through drawing. I walked and walked, sketching everything that caught my eye. But when I got to the studio I couldn't quite transfer them in to paintings or oil pastel drawings - to be honest that didn’t feel the most natural way for me. I work really well from imagery and imagination – that’s where most of my ideas come from but I felt that because I was in a new city I felt a pressure to be inspired by it.
Instead I started painting from things I am personally interested in - like tropical places, collected multi cultural vintage black and white imagery combined with imagery I've taken from a book I'm reading at the time followed by an array of artist books I have open in my studio mixed with pages and albums of African prints I have on my phone. I realised that everything I paint is a mash up of everything I'm interested in at the time - things that make me go "cooooorrr I really like that, I want to paint that!" And usually after painting I find connections with my surrounding without even realising it!