Bridging the Gap: ‘playing’

In my previous blog post way back in October 2022, on my thoughts for my work for ‘Bridging the Gap’, I ended by looking forward to Imbolc and the focus on connection, light, life and new beginning, thinking of Brigid the pagan deity.

I mentioned Brigid’s ‘cell of oak’ referred to in the Luka Bloom song ‘The Shape of Love to Come’, intending my research to lead me to more on this. That it hasn’t – or hasn’t yet – isn’t proving to be the obstacle to my progress on the work that I thought it would be. Rather, it has freed me up to begin playing, as I often do with forms, to create something that I feel a connection with, that I hope in turn, will spark a connection in others. I’ll include something of the results of my playing so far later in this post. Meanwhile, the image below is one I took some months ago – it expresses to me something of the ‘cell of oak’.

In this favourite area of my local woods I take many photographs, often thinking of the trees in a playful way, sometimes seeing in them faces or animal shapes. In some of the decaying hollow oaks, you can stand inside, like the one above. I love the playfulness in that too.

I’m still at the ‘playing’ stage with ‘Bridging the Gap’. I value it as a necessary part of the creative process and think that sadly in general, it’s an underrated pastime among adults.

I revisited a previous sketch book to look for a piece that I’d created in a similar ‘playing’ stage preparing for a work I did for EAST’s 2019 ‘Power of Stitch’ exhibition, which focused on some groynes on the Norfolk coast, and found the image below from my photo archive.

This didn’t become a finished piece, as it was the result of me ‘just playing’ then too, and led on to something else. Thinking of it, with the trees in mind, led me to develop the structure below in my most recent playing session. It is at this stage, in the very early stages of playing … we’ll see what develops …

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