In February I will be holding my first solo exhibition of over 30 new watercolour paintings at Abbott and Holder in London. For this exhibition, I explore my vision of a botanical dystopia, challenging our own sense of scale, its value and how we measure it.
The story began when I picked up a leaf from a London pavement in July 2014. At the time I was moving house and felt that the condition of the leaf told my own story. It had been scuffed by the streets of the city and was no longer attached to the tree, but blowing across the floor in the wind. Like me, it was on the move.
After carefully painting this leaf larger than life size I was drawn to paint another and another. Eventually, after months of painting these leaf portraits, all from different moments in time and place, I have created a visual story. Some of these leaves measure over a meter in length.
For the past two years I have also collected the environmental sounds from where each leaf was growing. The resulting soundtrack has been arranged by musician Derek Thompson (Hoodlum Priest) who, though a process of both precise and random digital manipulation, has created a composition where place, time and space become intertwined. In this dystopian soundtrack we can hear the sounds from London’s East End and the Sussex seaside as well as the birdsong and the rhythmic clanging of goat bells in Granada, Spain. The idea of recording sound introduces a completely new element to botanical art and I hope that this interpretation of both the natural and human worlds will encourage listeners to be as aware of the diversity and beauty of sound in the city as much as that of the countryside.
More info: inkyleaves.com
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