My project started on 25th March 2020. As the UK entered a lockdown, and we became confined to our little spaces, I wanted to record my experience of what will, hopefully, be a once in a lifetime event.
As an artist, my way of writing a diary is to paint. If only I could find a canvas big enough to record each day’s experiences in the weeks (and months?) ahead? The one blank wall of our flat suddenly looked very inviting.
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Here is my canvas! And our little exotic shorthair cat posing in front of it!
Using black (and blue for the first half) acrylic paint and a brush, I began making daily updates to the wall, usually, each evening, to record my experiences during the UK’s lockdown, be they new, sad, unexpected, or even just mundane.
Day 1. 25 March 2020. First day of work
There was so much to tell on day 1!
My highlights? Inventing new recipes for lockdown lunches (see Halloumi fries – day 15,) making face shields for local care homes with my colleagues at the school where I work (days 34-39,) and, towards the end, discovering that I might (but don’t say it too loudly) actually quite enjoy jogging, after all.
Week 1 flew by so fast
It was starting to come together!
After 113 days, the flat’s new tattoo was completed. I’m not sure how long it will stay for, although I suspect that decision will belong to any future owners of the flat, who may enjoy ‘reading’ it first before the magnolia brush comes out!
I have included some lino prints that I was working on at the time
Until then, it will remind me of how important it is to cherish the small but important things in life – from chatting with friends, to browsing in a shop, or stopping for a drink after work – and that life’s simple freedoms and pleasures should never be taken for granted.
Wall close to the ceiling was finally completed
Had many questions regarding the yellow blob. It’s a repurposed knob from the chest of drawers
Above all, I will never forget that this strange limbo I have recorded is just one tiny part of the story. While life has at times seemed in the doldrums, the storm has raged all around and continues to do so, leaving so much loss and sadness in its wake. To all those have endured the front lines of this pandemic, bravely placing themselves in harm’s way to keep life going, and going, and going, until we reach the other side – there are no words, or paintings, that can thank you enough.
At this point, I was still guessing how many more days I’ll manage to fit in
Half-way through the project
A little glass of bubbly always helped to keep the inspiration flowing!
The hardest bit was painting while sat on the floor
Yay! Our cat has finally made it onto the Wall!
On Day 102 I have discovered that it is so much better working with a pen than a brush and acrylics!
Day 113. Final entry!
Here’s the final look! 113 days of little adventures, routines, meals, activities, and hangovers recorded on one wall
Happy it’s finally finished!
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