Music in art: musical themes in art are an integral response to my life as a musician. I play several musical instruments (to varying degrees!): cello, piano, recorder, accordion and guitar. There's no doubt that my musical experiences, from busking in Covent Garden
to touring with bands like Elbow
and Snow Patrol
, to orchestral work and solo recitals, have inspired the music themes in my drawings.
Quill drawings make for some wonderfully scratchy, lively, impulsive effects! I don't sharpen my feathers, instead preferring a blotchy, spacious result, allowing feather and ink to take charge.
Story of a feather
I have a collection of many special feathers. The one in this picture belonged to an oriental pheasant at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
I worked at YSP during an Andy Goldsworthy
exhibition. I was invigilating a large, fragile work made with leaves. It was a hot sunny day and all the windows and doors had been opened. On this day Billy the pheasant, a regular on the YSP grounds, saw his opportunity to wander into the gallery. A priceless artwork and a fluttering pheasant are a dangerous match! One of my colleagues crept up behind Billy and managed to grab him, but Billy flapped his wings and escaped through the French doors, leaving a handful of tail feathers behind. Through one of his feathers the spirit of Billy lives on.