Following the unexpected and simply devastating loss of my mother, just days into 2020, I went to stay with my cousin, Ray, on the Isle of Wight for several days. Ray and his family gave me their time and the space to just ‘be’, while I tried to get my head around the massive loss I had just experienced. This wasn’t a sad experience or one of sorrow and pain. It was uplifting, fun and a celebration of just being family together at a difficult time. It was precisely as my dear mum would have wanted; to see Ray and I just chilling out, chatting, chuckling and paying respect to the past. I came home from those kind hearted people rejuvenated and restored of energy, despite the fact that my loss was huge.
Soon after returning home from the Isle of Wight, Ray and I started a little art project together. Before the days of Coronavirus affecting all of our lives. Before the era of lockdowns. Ray is a wonderful photographer and he as been featured as both writer and photographer in a number of publications. It was my honour that he would offer to collaborate on a small art project with me but it was also just a really nice thing to share.
Ray would get up and go out for a walk around his local beachside town. He would take some photo’s and then select ones that he thought might be inspiring for me to then take forward to create art from.
The result was three lovely photos by Ray and three artworks by me that were based upon them. We had developed some ideas for taking this project and making it into something bigger, but Covid-19 started to impact the whole country and really, since lockdowns started, we have all simply stepped back from this project. So, it is a small project and I somehow consider the Coronavirus pandemic to be part of the story of this collaboration.
Here are Ray’s photos. Now, just to be clear, my artwork that follows is not supposed to be a literal copy of the photos. My artwork is simply inspired by Ray’s photos.
Here are my three artworks, inspired by Ray’s photographs:
It is my hope that the vaccination programme will soon reach us all and that we can all be free to travel and not fear whether we may take a virus with us. I loom forward to going back to visit with Ray and his family and to perhaps get to feel inspired into a new art project based upon the beautiful little island that lies off the south coast of England.
One of ray’s friends had become aware of our project and he sent me a work of his own, from which i was able to be inspired into creating one further piece of art. I do not have Ray’s friend’s art to hand, though I hope to find that and add it in here soon, but here is what I came up with as a result:
I’m incredibly proud of my cousin.
(c) Deano Parsons. 2020.