Swale Friends of the Earth

An Exhibition – Kent Artists response to the Climate Emergency – Sioux’s Entry

Title – Found on a metre of the Ash path while walking the dog in Teynham on a day in August 2020
Size – 36cm x 46cm. Recycled Frame. Recycled Aluminium, Acrylic paint.
Sale price – £73.24p


The Ash Path is footpath ZR247 and runs from the London Road (A2) to Orchard View in Teynham. It is a straight pathway approx 1mtr wide and 191mtrs long with litter/dog bins at both ends. And it is always littered. But when the nettles grow you can’t see the litter. Its nature’s way of hiding the ugliness we create.  If left these cans will break down in approx. 400yrs. The earth will naturally and slowly reclaim the rubbish we leave polluting our earth with poisonous chemicals and gases adding to the problem of Climate Change.
We cannot continue with our current life styles and choices. Aluminium is 100% recyclable and these cans can be recycled and back on the shelves within 6 weeks. Recycling only uses 5% of the initial production energy and resources to produce plus 75% of all aluminium is still in use today thanks to recycling. The initial mining and refining of Bauxite in the making of aluminium is extremely energy intensive and harmful to the environment. The majority of bauxite is surface mined. This requires stripping everything off the surface of the land, to reveal the red bauxite earth. Creating deforestation and land erosion. Our planets earthly materials are dwindling fast, we are using up its resources faster than they can be replaced. This is the cycle of resources, manufacturing and waste. The dilemma we face.

These cans were found on the first metre of the pathway, just a small sample of what is really there. I bought them home, stapled them to a piece of board. I painted the cans green – in acrylic paints – nice plastic paint. I like green but it was also the colour associated with nature- the very nature that these items are destroying. I then framed the whole piece. Framing a piece of Art creates a boundary for the viewer – creates the illusion that it is separate that it can be viewed on its own merit. Please take a moment to think about all the materials and processes I used to produce this piece of rubbish art or art that is rubbish. I have taken them out of the system and made them special. I have made them into art where they will remain until I say they are rubbish and chuck’em away.

I am questioning our need to have stuff. As artists we make stuff. So, are we adding to the problem? Can we use our skills differently? Can use our skills to highlight issues that affect our surroundings and our earth? Can we change how people see things? Is that the purpose of art?

These cans are a reminder that we all need to change. To maybe buy less, use less, think about our decisions on how we use stuff and how we buy and throw away our stuff!
Reduce, repurpose and recycle more. Everything we do and produce has an impact.

Climate Change is an enormously big, complicated and worrying subject.

I hope these 9 cans can make a difference to your thinking.

A portrait of Teynham

The Blood Line – A Portrait of Teynham
100cmx100cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 2021 – £400

As an artist I feel the need to highlight the sadness and desolation that is happening here in the place I live – my landscape needs our help – there will be blood on our land. my painting is crying it is full of emotional heartache – I am angry and sad. These are my feelings

The Building Crisis both locally and nationally is devasting our landscapes. This government has implemented unrealistic house building numbers on Local Councils. Local Plans are splitting communities. Greedy developers are taking advantage of the farming industry and landowners. This is totally unsustainable. Our green fields are disappearing at an alarming rate we are building on Grade 1 agricultural land, decimating village life. Creating bland housing estates which will be future ghettos. Why?

This work shows the blood line which represents the greed and uncompassionate approach that developers have towards our countryside and local landscapes. The tears I cry for the loss of our countryside, the natural environment that supports and feed us. This work poured out of me with such sadness. It was scary. We are losing so much for so little.

This work is painted with a carrier bag, a credit card, sponges and a water spray. I painted quickly creating a total mess picking up materials and paint as I went on my journey. It is finished with a red jagged horizonal line to represent our blood stained landscape that is being cut out of our green fields and thin gold line  to represent money. This painting cries.

Mutant Flowers – The Future

The BIG Green Week 18th -24th September 2021 with Swale Borough Council

What and Why we are doing the Big Green Week
https://swale.gov.uk/news-and-your-council/news-and-campaigns/latest-news/great-big-green-week

The Full List of Events across Swale are here
https://www.visit-swale.co.uk/visit-swale-blog/great-big-green-week-events-in-swale/?fbclid=IwAR09wskkPgCzHUsNOAmusgm_kFxK_G9uEZK3dHT4bD2lXxRyLNrkNTqPxRc

Sioux is creating an installation to create awareness for the Plastic Bottle deposit return scheme.

I will be in the Room – the big blue container at Milton Creek County Park Sittingbourne on Saturday September 18th from 10-4pm. I will be running a drop workshop making Mutant flowers which will be planted around the room. Please join me or pop over and view.

Over the next few weeks I will also be adding to this blog with Interesting articles and facts will also be posted here.

Money in the (bottle) bank: deposit return schemes explained

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introducing-a-deposit-return-scheme-drs-for-drinks-containers-bottles-and-cans/outcome/introducing-a-deposit-return-scheme-drs-in-england-wales-and-northern-ireland-executive-summary-and-next-steps

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/plastic-bottle-deposit-return-scheme-recycle-b1898447.html

https://www.recycle-more.co.uk/household/recycling-facts

https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/plastic-bottles-0

The Plastic Bottle now has its own Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_bottle

THE WASTE WIZARD LINK for Swale Borough Council – so easy to use https://swale.gov.uk/bins-littering-and-the-environment/bins/what-goes-in-your-bin

The Power of Flowers

The Power of Flowers
120x84cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 2021- £350

I have wanted to paint some kind of abstract flowers for ages but I have not been able to. Tried but nothing happened. I need to be able to feel the painting, feel the mood of the work, that feeling just hadn’t been there. I walk past the canvas everyday but nothing calls me. My head is too full of stuff to concentrate and take time out.

I have had a head cold recently and been very sad and exhausted, so have done nothing for a week except rest, cry and blow my nose. Then suddenly I wake up, walk in my studio, pick up some pink paint and everything just happens it is manic, it happened. I sat on the warm concrete outside my studio and just painted. No thought process, just picking up colours, brushes and rags. I was so ecstatic and energised when I has finished. The layers, the colours the feeling. The relief. It bought me such emotional release and sheer joy. I can stand next to this and say I love it. Thank you painting for letting you paint me.

This is painted on a old vinyle canvas stretched over board. When I was a graphic designer (along time ago) I did some big photographic works for hotels, restuarants this was a sample I gave to my mum, she returned it recently. The paint is a mix of household emulsion and acrylics. I drybrushed the background. Undercoated some of the flowers with white then added yellows, purples and oranges. then finished with the drip effect. I painted with brushes and rags. Colour has such an effect on me. This is dedicated to my love of nature.

Finding my Inner Artist – Abstract 2021

Dreaming of Spring – £250
29x119cm
Acrylic on Board – 2021
I feel I have completed my first collection, with this piece. It is Green a calming, centring colour, a colour for nature and connectivity. I painted this with a credit card pulling the paint around, enjoying sitting and watching it grow in the Spring light that shon through my window.
It now feel I am ready again for the next part of my journey in life.

Not Everything is Black and White – £250
60x86cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 2021
We have a lot of decisions to make in our lives. A lot of choices, but not everything so simple or black and white. A lot is being discussed but sometimes there are no clear answers, there are no clear paths or solutions to our problems. Life has become very bizarre, weird and isolating during lockdown. I have been given time to think to reflect and maybe change but its not always easy or that straight forward. I believe that Art is about questioning so am I just putting off deciding what I want to do?

Green Street – £350
90x90cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 2021
I actually live in Green Street, but it is now the A2. Nature is in crisis. I walk in green fields which we are killing. Every day I walk with my Colin and our dog Twiglet in the wonderfully beauteous Kent Countryside, but I worry for its future I worry what we as humans are doing  I wanted people to see the big picture not just their own little world, but I also believe that’s asking too much. We are all struggling externally and internally. Sometimes it’s obvious that someone is in turmoil but sometimes it isn’t. We should not judge each other, but sadly do.
I consciously wanted to paint a green canvas – It was supposed be similar to “New Age of Anger” the red work a twin piece, but I didn’t connect with it. I couldn’t make it work like the red one. So I left it the one day I took courage and threw red paint at it. That feeling of freedom and abandonment was so just freeing and meaningful to me and all of sudden the painting came to life.

Festive Spirit – £250
49x57cm
Acrylic on Board – 2021I have found the drip technique suits my style in this collection. As I have cried a lot during lockdown for many different reasons and not all sad. And many of my abstract seem to naturally turn into landscapes, which I find interesting as I try to paint without thinking, as I find this more intuitive and calming. This piece is another one that just happened. My work seems to happen quickly so is energetic and releasing. I will paint a canvas/board with a colour randomly just to get rid of the nothingness. Then leave it laying around – I walk past it a lot until a colour pops into me. This one was just a festival of colour. Not sure if it’s because I was happy or totally mixed up in my brain, but it is how I often see the world in a haze of brilliance. For me colour is a trigger for my work.

A Ray of Hope – £250
49x57cm
Acrylic on Glass – 2021
Its back to Black. This piece I painted on a very dark mood day – I actually painted in straight onto another work directly on the glass. It has tile adhesive to give it texture., I didn’t think about the consequences I was angry, so disappointed with a situation and sad and needed to vent. Black has always been my safe colour the colour I spent my youth in it, after I finished. I felt safe and calm again and there was light and hope again in my world. 

Ode to Hoyland – £250
53x72cm
Acrylic on Board – 2021
John Hoyland is an English abstract painter. I have always loved his work and as part of my abstract experimentation I looked at how he painted rather than what he painted. Abstract painting is a lot about finding a technique that works for you that you as an artist can control, utilise and manipulate into your own style. I am enjoying bright bold colours, texture and palette knife painting using tools that are laying around, bits of sponge, credit cards, cling film and feeling a painting rather than seeing the realism of the work. I feel this is me.

Lynsted Fields – NFS
60x80cm
Acrylic on Board – Framed – 2021
This piece was not what I intended to paint. It came as a shock. It is not my normal style or colour preference. I do not know how I painted it, but it turned out to be so significant at the time. I was devastated and shocked by local news, my inner-self was breaking. This was a release of the pain and disbelieve I was feeling. It really does look like the field I have walked my dog in nearly everyday since lockdown.
Our subconscious thoughts and places often reveal themselves in our works.

New Age of Anger – £300
90x90cm
Acrylic on Canvas – 2021
My paintings are linked to my inner self and being able to express our emotions through creativity is integral to my-self worth. Red is a highly emotive colour it is for love, passion, danger and anger.
I believe we are emotional beings of many layers. My emotions have been pouring out of me lately in paint. I did not realise how angry I am with my life, my fellow beings, with myself and how we do not look after our world or our selves. These are my inner feelings which I was shocked to find. But I have released them onto the canvas. Freeing myself again..

My Happy Place – NFS
106x76cm
Acrylic on paper – Framed – 2021
I have to admit this work just jumped out of me. It was desperate to get out. This was the first piece I actually painted to the frame and wanted a scene but not a scene. Abstract is a paint style for my emotions – I try not to be to think too much to not pre judge or have pre conceived ideas. I was happy painting this and I think it shows, it was a relief to be back being creative. I found it reassuring knowing that I could still paint and actually find my style again. I find I am exceptionally self-critical and self-conscious of my showing my own work. This is my happy place, a place I can go to, I can walk through it I can stay there and I can become calm and at peace with myself.