New Beginnings

We’re now halfway through June which means it’s been 6 months since I last wrote a blog entry!! Okay, it has been a busy 6 months with lots of life changes but still – 6 months!! So I thought I’d do a very quick one so it doesn’t look like I’ve abandoned it completely 🙂

So we moved to country (and closer to the coast – yay!) 20190528_165315.jpg

This is a photo from one of our dog walking routes nearby our house. I would have definitely have described Rudy as a ‘townie’ but he’s getting used to the sheep, cows and lack of pavements. At first it was a big re-adjustment for both of us after a bit of a traumatic move full of doubt and regret (long story), but after a couple of weeks out here I realised just how stressed and tense I’d felt for the past five years, and how much more laid back about everything I am now. The idea was to simplify our lives and relax more and so far we’re on the right track (and it’s amazing how being near the water has a profoundly calming effect).

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Thanks to the previous tenants’ hard work we have a really beautiful, fully-formed garden which makes glancing out of the window a very happy experience (oh, and I’ve just noticed the ‘cuckoo’s spit’ in this photo – it’s reminded me that I must go to www.brc.ac.uk and record my sightings just in case Xylella fastidiosa spreads to the UK).

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Well, I told you this was going to be a quick entry! It’s time to feed then walk the dog, although it won’t be in weather this alas…I’ll be back soon, however, to fill you in on some new work I’ve been making and where I’ll be exhibiting and selling this summer. TTFN 🙂

 

The Fox in Winter

So it’s January, and it’s cold. No surprise there then! We haven’t had any snow yet here at Hooperhart Headquarters but I’ve got a feeling February might oblige… Myself and Mr Biscuits are snuggled up on the sofa under a variety of blankets this afternoon, watching the birds in the garden fluttering around the feeder, reflecting on the past few months and ruminating on plans for the weeks to come.

The festive season seems like a distant memory now – it’s amazing to me how events which happened three weeks ago can seem like months ago just because they happened ‘last year’. But it was a successful few months, a nice way to end the year. It’s great to finish the year with hardly any stock left, and a huge relief, as nothing is ever guaranteed.

2018 was definitely the year of the fox – I only began making works featuring foxes last summer and they have been far and away my bestsellers. I love foxes but I wasn’t aware so many other people did too! There are families of foxes living in the woods at the end of our road, and we quite often come across each other on the dog walk. I think it’s such a privilege to live in close proximity to wildlife and it lifts my spirits to know they are there, quietly going about their business.

The fox is such a symbolic animal and has been used countless times in art and storytelling to convey intelligence, elusiveness, trickery, transformation, wildness, freedom, magic powers, and so on. A forest setting adds to the sense of a story to be told…

I recently read a lovely description by Unit Twelve from their upcoming exhibition Into the Woods: ” The forest acts as a potent symbol of adventure and discovery, a place where the barrier between reality and fantasy begins to thin…the wonder and whimsy of these magical places, a whimsy that is subtly shaded by with undertones of the sinister and the macabre”. I think this actually sums up what I aim to capture in my work in general – the creation of a little window into another world, an imaginary place just a little bit more magical and intriguing than our own…