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.
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.
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.