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Unlocking Creativity with Sheena Clover

During this time, how important is input rather than output in terms of nurturing yourself and how do you feed your creativity?

Usually I have exhibition deadlines to meet and I find these helpful because I work well under pressure. I have had to adjust to working without any external demands and that has meant learning to become more aware of what I need to do with my time and creative energy in order to stay balanced and strong. Some of the creative input I usually rely on has been denied by the isolation of lockdown. When we were allowed to travel in the summer, I found myself gulping up the experience of being in a new place. I was overwhelmed at seeing the ocean again and walking in different landscapes.

I also find new ideas emerging after seeing the artwork of other people and miss going to exhibitions. We have had an art trail in our area and I have really appreciated that.

I have found creative energy by focusing on my inner world its dreams and memories and also by closely observing and reflecting on the landscape around my home.

In terms of your own wellbeing how important is your art at the moment?

Any creative experience gives meaning to my day and my life. The energy used in making and creating sparks new ideas and makes me feel alive and connected to the world. So yes, my art is very important even when my ideas haven’t travelled yet from my thoughts to the canvas!

How have you managed your creativity during these difficult times?

It has been difficult! I set myself challenges, communicate with other artists and poets and keep a journal with a mixture of writing, sketches and collage.

clover

I have asked you for an image of your artwork for a writing prompt. What have you selected and why did you choose it?

I have not made as much artwork as usual this year as it has been difficult to adjust to being away from my studio. What I have done to feed my creativity is to use memory of important places. This is not like looking at a photograph which records everything in its range. When we remember a place it is through the lens of emotion and the images which are most vivid are those invested with personal meaning. I have made a series called Remembered Places using different media and styles and am sharing this one with you which has its roots in my childhood.

The other series I have been working on is about the paths which start from my door and which extend in all directions. Some paths are very clear cut, other weave and move responding to invisible obstacles and seasonal changes. This image is based on one of the paths I have discovered in my daily walks.

PROMPT: The Pathway

Do post your poems in the comments below. Selected poems will be published later in the spring.

The Pathway

sheena

Sheena Clover is an artist who lives in Wivenhoe Essex. In these pieces she started by making a mono print using a gelli plate to build up layers of colour and texture and then worked into my initial image.

Her work has been exhibited in galleries in Essex and Suffolk and you can find her on instagram. She has been a working space at Cuckoo Farm Studios in Colchester. Her other passion is poetry and she is the Representative for Mosaic, Colchester’s stanza group.

6 thoughts on “Unlocking Creativity with Sheena Clover”

  1. Paths

    The paths one follows, the cartography
    of life bleeds in vermillion, buds in green
    ageing through red and green, stop, start
    smudged in grey, black canvasses with
    silver linings, unfurl when least expected
    a destiny in divine hands or choices one makes
    floating in the river of life, gurgling, stagnant
    as one reaches the ocean, a rainbow crushed.

    1. I think the use of the words cartography and bleeds is powerful in this poem and gives a sense of how the map of our lives is made of contrasting choices- both considered and visceral. Colour is used very specifically to evoke emotions.

  2. She walks collecting stories

    Absorbing skylines; land or sea

    Memories are handled, held and turned

    Travelling round her mind and soul

    Til they fall upon the paper, find their place

    get crossed over, layered,

    Twisted, tweaked, til art is done

    Then textured words find surface, leave a final mark

    For others to interpret

    Their own lives defining a story under independent gaze.

  3. The path is the language of the determined foot, steps
    as blue morse, invisible dot-dash in time with the trees.
    Their promise is you are getting somewhere, however
    the jackdaws distract and the path twists and turns.
    August scuffs and sieves the soil so the path opens up
    like an exclamation mark. The trees beyond, reliably
    in leaf, offer a green like copper patina, scratchy and loud.
    Nobody’s clouds lead the way, far off, slow as translation.
    The path is the language of the foot, stepping out there:
    We are always held surprised by a sky baby-blue.

  4. The path is the language of the foot is a stand out phrase! It encapsulates that sense that our minds are not wholly in charge of where we go.

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