Updated: May 23, 2019
It all started years ago...
15thMay 2019, early morning, the allotment needed tender and loving care or an “industrious lady” (as a fellow gardener said) catching up with all duties for later crops to be tasty beautiful vegetables and fruits.
16thMay 2019, the artist/artisan gathers her memories and thoughts about her project she named ARTYchoke.
It all started years ago, during a long recovery from a bone marrow transplant to cure a lymphoma, I spent short spells of regained strength in an allotment site, first giving a hand with maintaining the full plot of an acquaintance; later taking over a quarter of a plot, I was kindly invited to test my own ways my beginner skills.
I took spontaneously many square pictures to capture the rewarding moments of bringing home crops that I grew organically at my own pace, I had each season nurtured laboriously. It had a cumulative effect of some kind. The therapeutic quality was clear like a crystal. Not to forget that it built itself out of love for the flavours, shapes and colours of home grown crops and the value I held for each and every ingredient in all of the dishes I had the pleasure of eating to heal my body and my being.
In the meantime, upon returning to work I found that my focus was different; while I had been ill and unable to manage the physical demands of stained glass work, I had channelled my creativity into writing and storytelling for children, which I illustrated and found it was now driving my work in stained glass too.
I had been given a fresh start, and to coincide with this renamed my studio to Couleurlive.
Not to forget the photos I took of my crops would have to become A Project, it had to be named.
Those pictures had to grow into stained glass cartoons!
It had played a vital part in the healing process. From September 2018 until this September 2019, when thinking of how to mark the 20th Anniversary of my studio, one of my main priorities is to celebrate the rewarding outcome of such an experience.
The project now named ARTYchoke– a series of square stained glass cartoon designs that celebrate the beauty of home-grown crops created using those photographs taken after each pick up of the fruits of my ‘industrious’ hours at the allotment – does just that.
My wish for the coming years is to continue building up catalogues, Series 2 for 2017, Series 3 for 2018, Series 4 for 2019, all based on the yearly crops of my allotment.
As Marga & Collections was happening
This May 2019, is the month of the installation on site of a project supported by the Arts Council England in which I was commissioned to design and make a permanent stained glass window for the Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.
One of the key themes in this artwork was engaging the local community and encouraging a deeper thinking into the Earth ethical and spiritual challenges that have arisen from the dominant influence human activity, has had on our climate and environment particularly in recent years. It is named the Anthropocene Era.
A concern very true for the generation of Margaret Agnes Rope, late C19th early C20th, to whom this stained glass artwork was also referring to following the exhibition of her work in Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.
Whilst those of us in more developed countries are choosing to grow our own crops using organic methods as part of our efforts to protect our planet and live better, there are also so many people around the world that do not have this choice. Their livelihoods depend on the crops they are able to grow to feed and sustain themselves and their families, placing so much more value on the work and effort required to grow something.
As I was creating this window I n