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…

 

My favourite month

Well, I think we can safely say that autumn has definitely arrived in central Scotland: the temperature has dropped, the leaves are turning, and darkness descends at a frighteningly early hour. The end of summer seemed to happen strangely quickly this year, and an Indian Summer looks like it’s off the cards. Despite all that, there’s something about September that I really love, even though it signifies the end of summer and the beginning of the long dark winter to come.

It’s a month for wrapping yourself in cosy knitwear, going for long walks amidst a kaleidoscope of colour, and coming home to a glass of sherry in front of a crackling fire…or in my reality it means donning waterproof trousers, traipsing along muddy pathways with the dog and coming home to spend half an hour cleaning said dog and draping dirty towels over the radiators! Either way, there is a certain atmosphere about the autumn which has long been a source of inspiration for creative types, and as a result I’ve been making a few items in warm, autumnal colours to mark the change in the seasons.

 

To see all my work currently available, click on the link in the top right hand corner or go to my ‘Shop’ page.

So here’s to a happy, cosy few months ahead, and I’ll leave you with one of my favourite photographs of the afore-mentioned dog, Rudy (aka Mr Biscuits), looking all autumnal…

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