In July, NASA’s Mars rover, Perseverance, left Earth. In February 2021, it is due to land in Jezero crater which was formed billions of years ago and where there is evidence that water once flowed from the hills nearby, dropping mud and sand on its way, forming a delta. It’s a hot spot for the likelihood of finding signs of ancient life.
This painting and video were made using NASA images of the surface of Mars at Jezero crater, and the subtitled commentary of NASA’s video of the landing site.
There’s a beautiful old church in Bramber that dates back to the 11th century and sits next to the ruins of Bramber Castle. This is where the Summer Exhibition is usually held; where glasses of orange juice and homemade cakes are sold, and where within the stone walls that have seen so much, Steyning Arts members display their work.
COVID-19 has turned all that on its head and booted us straight into the 21st century with an online-only exhibition that will take place over the Bank Holiday weekend. I am lucky enough to have had some paintings selected, all of them the product of COVID as lockdown affected every part of the painting module I have been doing as part of my degree. Ever tried to paint a ‘landscape outdoors’ when outdoors is a foreign country suddenly? Or find a person other than yourself to be your model for figures? Luckily, the university has been as accommodating as you would expect and while I got very fed up of the sight of my own face in a mirror or a selfie, I was able to use some of the many photos I’ve taken of this beautiful place over the years.
The pieces that may appear in the exhibition include two of those landscapes and four rather contemporary paintings that made use of protective packaging, brown paper, cardboard, and string.
There is also a video but while the invitation said something about ‘you in your studio’, I’ve chosen one I made around a piece of art that spent several weeks outside collecting hedgehog footprints (and poo!), snail trails, and bits of windblown garden debris. It’s called ‘Made by Wildlife’.
On the verge of Day Three of my first arts trail and I’ve found that time evaporates between chatting to visitors and co-exhibitors, and dashing into the tent to put everything upright again after successive gusts of wind suck the tent sides in and out like a cosmic hokey cokey. As far as I know, it’s all still there so I’ll be off to sit to attention under a camper-van awning and brace myself to take charge of dog, cats, and chickens while Jill goes off to check out some venues in Steyning.