'Don't try to find a picture...'

A few minutes after I arrived back in Orkney there was a knock at the door and two boxes of canvases were delivered. Delivery to the Outer Isles is not an exact science and Im always relieved when packages arrive here safely.

I have made good use of the days of sunshine, avoiding the sharp showers and taking my canvases outside- sketching in charcoal onto the canvas and then painting back in my studio. This series of paintings are all created within 5 minutes walk from my studio.

I had the opportunity to see two exhibitions of Ivon Hitchens work before I arrived. A treat to see, particularly the exhibition at Pallant House including his astonishing late paintings with all their energy and colour. I have dotted postcards of his work around the cottage. This is not an attempt to copy but to be inspired. A quote from Ivon Hitchens sketchbook in the Pallant House exhibition reads:

‘Don’t try to find a picture. Find a place you like and discover the picture in that.’

Sketching on canvas Westray July 2019

Sketching on canvas Westray July 2019

July, Fitty Hill, Westray I Alison Clark 2019. North Isles 2 Exhibition, Old Library, Kirkwall 3rd to 24th August 2019

July, Fitty Hill, Westray I Alison Clark 2019. North Isles 2 Exhibition, Old Library, Kirkwall 3rd to 24th August 2019

July, Fitty Hill, Westray II Alison Clark 2019

July, Fitty Hill, Westray II Alison Clark 2019

July, West Kirbest to Rousay. Alison Clark 2019

July, West Kirbest to Rousay. Alison Clark 2019

Footfall Lent 2019

End of ‘year’ review- most enjoyable work has been my commission for Footfall (2019) in Southwark Cathedral for the 40 days of Lent. Footfall is composed of largescale printmaking and hand stitching. The final piece is over 15 metres long and hung as a veil to cover the gilded figures of the Risen Christ and Mary on the high altar screen or Reredos for Lent.

The prints were taken from some of the oldest ledger or memorial stones in the Retrochoir using a similar printmaking technique to brass rubbing- a direct print taken form the surface of the stone. The prints were made directly on scrim, a simple fabric normally used for cleaning but here elevated against the gold- a breaking of the rules. Footfall was installed for Ash Wednesday and dismantled for Easter day when the gilded figure of the risen Christ was visible again.

Footfall makes visible the invisible. Cathedrals bear traces of pilgrimage and worship trodden into the floors like slow sculpture (Lewis, 2007: 228). Southwark was known as a place where pilgrimages began as Chaucer documented in the Canterbury Tales and continue to be living sculptures as worshippers and tourists continue to pour through its doors.

Footfall became an actor in the liturgy, not wallpaper but engaged in the life of the cathedral. A quiet presence. During a wedding it became festive, as fine as a Shetland wedding shawl. During the eucharist the almost translucent cloth rose like incense. When the cathedral responded to the New Zealand mosque shootings it became the backdrop for candles lit in prayer. 

With thanks to Westhill Endowment Trust for grantfunding who have a project page about Footfall:

http://www.westhillendowment.org/lent-art-installation
Footfall. Alison Clark 2019 Southwark Cathedral. Photo credit: Alison Clark

Footfall. Alison Clark 2019 Southwark Cathedral. Photo credit: Alison Clark

Footfall. Alison Clark. Lent Art Installation Southwark Cathedral 2019 Photo credit: Alison Clark

Footfall. Alison Clark. Lent Art Installation Southwark Cathedral 2019 Photo credit: Alison Clark

Footfall. Alison Clark. Lent Art Installation 2019 Southwark Cathedral Photo credit: Alison Clark

Footfall. Alison Clark. Lent Art Installation 2019 Southwark Cathedral Photo credit: Alison Clark

New website

A long time thinking about this but not nearly as painful as I'd imagined. Here is my new website to show my artworks and practice, exhibitions and artist residencies and ongoing projects. The gallery pages have examples of printmaking, painting, textiles and drawings, indicating where  work is for sale. Follow this site to hear about new work and contact me if you would like to have more details about individual pieces or talk to me about an artist residency.

Conversation. Monoprint on tissue paper and pastel. 2016. Sea Sky exhibition, Stromness. Available.

Conversation. Monoprint on tissue paper and pastel. 2016. Sea Sky exhibition, Stromness. Available.