The Allotment Project (2009-2015) has, in part, been inspired by a poem about a child, or child state, in which all things connect.
‘There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of
the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years.’
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Living in a culture which seems to promote disconnection and isolation, I was interested in the child’s rightful claim to be in natural being with his/her surroundings. Small communities create connection; I found a thriving allotment and set up a peripatetic studio to observe and record with the means of drawing and photography.
What emerged was an ongoing project, now spanning six years, in which I repeatedly returned to the allotment, firstly to make a large series of drawings on site, developing them into paintings in the studio, and laterly to work with my photographic imagery together with drawing media for the Under One Roof series. Collectively they form a progression of images of boarded up sheds and discarded detritus, ubiquitous to any urban allotment. The individual expression of each creates a narrative informing the later series, in which the sheds are turned on their heads, to be seen upside down, seemingly bluring the line between reality and illusion.
Link to drawings
Link to under one roof series 1, series 2
Link to paintings
Link to essay