I'm working on a piece on the topic of "Britain" for Grayson's Art Clubf on Channel 4, which invites the nation to submit their lockdown experiments and contains some frankly hilarious celebrity moments. It's full of art that isn't necessarily comfortable or pretty, so it creates an interesting challenge.
Why am I doing this? Because Paul said "You should do that."
I have about 36 hours to get it researched, planned, and made and obviously there will be bits I want to redo...and redo...and I'll have to ignore those urges because this one needs to be bold, personal and FAST.
I'm reading about the lockdown in 1665 in Eyam, Derbyshire where your doctore would be sporting a rather terrifying ensemble including a cane with which to examine you at a distance, and a beaky mask containing herbs, straw and whale poo to keep him safe (so clearly that has to go in). I'm also including the tiny circular family cemetery, left empty for the lives lost, and the boundary stone where vinegar-sodden coins were left in holes in return for food. A pair of lovers were said to meet across the stone every day, until one day, one of them did not appear. It's heartbreaking. (It's also heartbreaking that my boundary stone looks a bit like a biscuit at the moment, so I'll have to do something about that).
There's a PPE Then And Now thing going on here too, history watching over us and moulding us, my husband's real life nurse eyes (maybe the last thing some people will see in their life).
Stay tuned and see how it turns out!