I have long been inspired by places which are special to me. Places which are off the beaten track or which instill the feeling of having discovered somewhere secret. I’m sure you all have these places too.
For me, some of them are from childhood, hidden places to play. Some are local, such as islands on the river, across the sluice gates. Some are in familiar places, like Cornwall; well hidden coves and secret paths to stone piles and ruined tin mines. And some places exist only in the imagination.
I’m sure everyone has their own reason to visit their own secret places. For me, pursued constantly by anxiety as a result of Aspergers, I like to visualise places of safety. My own oases of calm in an otherwise chaotic and overwhelming world.
I began to realise last year that I could create, in print form, representations of these special, secret and safe places in a way which might bring some calm to my life and even perhaps others.
It is still very early days but what I am creating with my “safe harbours” are essentially fantasy artworks or dioramas of imaginary safe or secret places made from collected items such as driftwood, stones, rocks, shells collected on a beach combined with the safety of little stone houses or windswept beach huts. This series will include a variety of imagined places, not just harbours but other magical places.
It seemed appropriate to name my new series Safe Harbour. Unlike my previous print designs which have always been designed as a “range” in advance of printing, I’m leaving this new series deliberately open ended. I have no idea yet where it will take me, nor for how long I will create new prints under the name; I’m allowing myself to be slightly terrified and excited by these unknowns but I do hope you will join me.