From Isolation to Creation:
Artists Respond to a Changing World

Dawn Ford

The Forgotten Whispers of Noon

Dreaming or Reality -Warmth, softness and much craved light - Listen and feel the air - New beginnings are upon us.

Isolation to Creation – The Forgotten Whispers of Noon

I struggled with the title of this brief but after some time I focused only on the word Isolation – I could sort of identify with it and that was important to me. Isolation for me conjured up many other words; withdrawn, alone, uncertainty, unsocialable, low mood, insecure, low self-esteem, frustration, and at odds with oneself and the world as the surrealism of Covid-19 took hold.

I met with an unwelcome void of ideas to this creative challenge and it was frustrating me. Like most creative people I can be hard on myself and when the dreaded ‘Artist block’ visits and over-stays its welcome, the frustration leaves me feeling low and very sad too. Unable to produce anything in my usual format of drawing; with cloth & stitch, accompanied by words and wire too, I decided to submit some abstract and atmospheric photos and a video clip of an idea I explored back in May.

In May, when ‘Lockdown’ was well and truly engrained in our world, our society, our psyche;  I played around with the idea of ‘sound’ and my initial inspiration came from line drawings of the 3 main sounds heard from my studio window ( being in my studio sadly doesn’t guarantee creativity but my goodness was I willing it!) .. ..a black bird’s song, a dog barking and the ticking of my favourite clock.  I listened, I drew the sounds and waited for further inspiration. I waited weeks…

Like everyone Covid 19 meant being outside the home (unless a key worker) was very restricted; so walking our dear dog Alfie, a ‘daily permitted activity’ (such a surreal term in itself), became a highlight of the day, more so than ever. I began to see the same ‘sound’ formations in willow branches and dying hedgerow shrubs so I left behind my initial pen and wire drawings, instead  Collections of branches , decayed leaves, feathers and dandelions became a bit of an obsession. I became a hunter-gatherer and by letting go of any preconceived ideas I played with the camera, capturing these beautiful items of nature in weird and wonderful light and unusual angles.  I was enthralled by the photographs and the short video clip that captured both the fragility and the ever-so gentle, quiet movement. It was all so abstract, atmospheric and so captivating. I was overjoyed.

On reflection I could see that somehow these images were actually an external visual interpretation of my inner self; my thoughts, my feelings, my concerns. This conclusion has delighted me because the ‘sound’ exercise that inspired all of this manifested itself in these abstract and atmospheric photographs, that ironically need no added sound yet they have sound – I can hear my own ‘orchestral symphony’ when I lose myself in the imagery. There were so many more photographs, but for the purpose of this exhibition I have selected my favourite ones.

Realisation

I love these photos but I know they would be even more evocative and atmospheric if they were increased in size – imagine being able to walk inside, breathe the air, touch the sides, feel the golden warmth etc . Now this has come to a conclusion I can hear a different voice speaking to myself – ‘Dear Dawn please do not be so hard on yourself – you can do this; sit quietly with your ‘Artist’s block’ and enjoy it for what it is; a much needed silent space – to let what will be walk in.’

 The manner in which these images came to be was so unfamiliar,  yet I see a rich mix of death, decay, melancholy, fragility, delicacy, metamorphism of life, metaphors, surrealism, hope, freedom, gratitude and even music in them, which summarises perfectly for me Covid-19 and my subconscious.

The second very small body of work demonstrates the relief of not only being able to socialise again, and of drinking coffee and sketching in sunny courtyard cafes, but the video clips are also the result of my creative need to ‘capture’ my feeling of joy that some sort of ‘normal – with caution’ is here, at the moment and I am so grateful. My recent love of left-handed drawings  and frequently without looking at the page as well – come from a desire to ‘push’ myself with my mark-making, leaving ‘mistakes’ embedded in the pen drawings and also out of necessity as since February I have been in considerable pain with a right shoulder rotator cuff injury.  I am on the road to recovery now but I know I will continue with the left-handed drawing and the ‘not looking at the paper’.  It’s addictive!

My artworks and videos

I have created four fragile and intriguing collections of beautiful decayed leaves, scattered dandelion seeds and gossamer light feathers. They are now housed in 15cm x15cm wooden box frames. £38.00 each.

For any enquiries please contact me by email dawn_ford01@yahoo.com

The Forgotten Whispers at Noon  by Dawn Ford

Seize the light, fly towards it like moths to a flame –
Muffled sounds surround you –
The need is to surrender,
But it is not the desire.

Struggling, no right way to turn –
Flight is denied as body weighs heavy –
Sleep often alludes,
Soft drum rolls play as thoughts drift in & out.

Rise up to what?
Confusion, suffocation and yet there is air –
Promise of hope,
Calmness knocks but anxiety trespasses too.

The forgotten whispers of noon
Give way to a new day –
Hope & faith invite themselves in –
The idea of freedom is now palatable.

Dreaming or Reality? –
Warmth, softness and much craved light –
Listen and feel the air,
New beginnings are upon us.

Almost there –
Think and bestow upon yourself much craved light,
Much needed inner peace –
The Golden Orb, disentangle the mind.

So weary yet ready –
Motion is slow & mindfulness is the 13th hour –
Re-growth is here ,
Dear self , breathe, accept and just be.

My reading of the poem:

Please get in touch if you are interested in my work. 

You can phone me on 07928 110041,  or email me at:  dawn_ford01@yahoo.com

Dawn Ford

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Allen Fisher Proceeds in the Garden

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Denise Fordyce Working from Memories
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