How lockdown is changing our artists...

Lockdown is proving an important time of reflection for North Mundham-based glass artist Kim Tattersall.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 11:47 am
Kim Tattersall

Kim creates kiln-formed glass works, including dishes, tea light holders and unique art pieces, inspired by nature.

She was looking forward to taking part in this year’s Chichester Open Studios Art Trail this weekend – an event which was wiped from the calendar when the coronavirus lockdown began.

Kim is delighted it is happening online instead at http://www.chichesterarttrail.org – and still represents a fantastic chance for thousands of people and scores of artists to connect with each other.

It offers a fascinating focus for everyone during these difficult days – days from which, Kim is convinced, many artists will emerge rather different. Certainly she will.

“For me there have been days when I have just been so frustrated, just with the whole situation, with the fact that you can’t just get on and do things, with the fact that people are suffering – and just the whole thing that it all makes you feel so helpless. We can’t do anything about it, and that means that we have all got to find some ways to release that pent-up frustration, to find a calm place, for me to go and do some samples of my glasswork.

“It is great. It distracts your brain from the awfulness that is going on, but it also a chance for contemplation, a chance to lose yourself for a while. Life is always so busy and nobody ever gets the chance to step off the conveyor belt, but now we are not allowed out and things are different. We have got the chance to sit back and think and to reassess and to work out what is actually important to us. I do think this will have changed my mindset in life. It makes you sit back and look. It makes you realise that you don’t have to be endlessly chasing your tail forever. It makes me realise that you have got to take time, that I am happier doing my art. You go out and you see people walking. People realise that it is not all about watching the TV. You realise there is so much out there and that we have just got to take the time to enjoy it.”

Her art is changing too. Kim can’t just get glass in the way she used to. But she can certainly take a hammer to the bits and pieces she has got.

“It means you have got to be more creative. You just break it up and see what you have got. It is therapeutic, but also it gets you thinking. Your subconscious comes into it and new ideas come out that you didn’t think you had inside your head. It is about playing with the materials that you have actually got and seeing what happens. I definitely do think my art practice is going to be different.”

Last year was Kim’s first time taking part in the art trail on her own: “And I had an amazing time. I was really, really pleased. I thought if I got maybe 20-25 people, that would be great, but in total I had nearly 200 visitors. Sales were good too. My studio is my garage, and we moved a few things around. We set up a top for bits and pieces in progress. And there was a table where I put out the things that are my inspiration, images and photos from my walks. There was also a table of things that I had made that were for sale. I did feel that it was like my whole head was on show! But it was all very interesting and exciting. Having it all there, it really felt like it was a visual pathway, my journey. It was so interesting to do...”

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