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Inspiration …

April 23, 2021

My early personal story from 1950-1960 and my MA journey are closely interwoven.  This may not have been apparent had the pandemic not happened.  I was born into a small community by a river on a houseboat, miles from local amenities, school friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. For this essay I will reflect on these years and remind myself of the way in which I entertained myself and those who and what inspired me to create and make sense of the indignity, fear, and discomfort of isolation.  Then consider the last year and how I continued to be creative and those who influenced me with my new explorations.

My parents and my surroundings were my inspiration; immediately after WW2 they were able build a relatively comfortable home for a growing family with salvaged and reclaimed materials with dignity and pride. I was encouraged to find resources and make the most of somewhat uncomfortable situation.  Along with emotional support and personal care, play was often neglected.  Nonetheless, with music from the Light Programme on the radio, comics, and mail order catalogues everything was new, and exploration was the key. 

During the pandemic on the other hand, I had plenty of resources, social media, and all home comforts and in the short-term lack of visits to art galleries, theatre, and other social events was not a serious issue.  However, as time went on family visits were curtailed and shutdowns went on, I became fearful and feel abandoned. I was transported to the time on the river during rare moments of comfort with my dad or mum in a place of silent communication. Now, with more worldly experience and chosen to continue my doll making, started 65 years ago where there remains much that is unexplored. Surprisingly, the artists who have inspired me in those weeks were far from new; Gerald F. Bremmer is a wire sculptor of the 1960s, Paul Klee is an artist and puppet maker of the 1900s, Michel Nedjar, an artist of the French Art Brut movement with a fascination in dolls and Alexander Shiryaev a dancer, choreographer, and animator also of the 1900s.  …. See how this unfolds soon. 

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