The Flight of the Bumble Bee

Transforming theaccidental into the enduring” is a quote taken from part of a wonderful small article written by Margaret Drabble about Prunella Clough, (Spring, 2010 – Issue 18 – edition of Tate etc. magazine) and is such a succinct way of describing what most of us do as artists.  In it she talks about how Clough took boxes of photographs as source material for her paintings in the 1950s and 1960s, views of  ‘wasteland, signal boxes, wires, ropes, fences, walkways, traffic lights, poles and pylons’, as the ‘….post-war dereliction began to merge with industrial decline’.  I love this idea of creating something that will live on well after the artist has died, and by immersing yourself with the studio paraphernalia: papers, letters, notes and sketches, that the artist used to create the artwork, you are communing with the ghost of that artist, as if she has cheated death.  Artists are notorious collectors of objects and I am also a hoarder of ‘treasures’: driftwood, feathers, sticks, pebbles, dried leaves, a birds broken shell, the skull of a tiny rodent, my puppy’s first tooth,  in fact anything that grabs my attention for whatever reason, be it textural, sculptural or intriguing for any reason.  One cold Spring day, battling the icy winds on a coastal excursion with the dogs, I found the corpse of a beautiful, stripey fluffed-out bumble bee that I thought would make a fabulous addition to my ever-growing collection of precious bits and pieces, and cradling it carefully in my cupped hand, I carried it home.  Before I reached the garden gate, however, the warmth of my hand had revived the small creature and it began to show vital signs of life.  Reluctantly, but joyfully I released the furry creature to live another day.

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Filed under Art Works, Found Objects, my sketchbook pages, Studio Practice

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