‘Home Sick’ was created during lockdown and depicts our need to interact with other human beings; that we are built for community.
Responding to the times we are living through, ‘a fuller acquaintance with the archipelago’, born in 2019, is a growing installation which invites the viewer to navigate a co-created Lilliputian world. As observation gives way to imagination, it is possible to mentally inhabit the fossilized and fragile cast sculptures as a series of islands surrounded by sea.
All islands are separated from each other, but some stand alone, while others are in pairs or groups. The now evident architecture and topology of the mostly bleached islands may suggest abandonment associated with a dystopian world.
In lockdown, new aspects of the archipelago arose, in line with my fluctuating emotions. I intuitively gravitated to painting, because I was yearning for colour and fluidity, and began making portraits of the individual islands. It was only after making some that I realised I had isolated them from the group and given them a private imaginary space.
ongoing series of island like sculptures with dimensions ranging between (16w x 16d x 6h cm) and (30w x 30d x 16h cm)
plaster, sand, pigment
series of island portrait paintings with dimensions approx 30h x 50w cm
gold ink and watercolour on monotype print
The Art Doctors playfully break down barriers to participation in contemporary art, and explore the positive role of creativity in all our lives.
We usually gather near art galleries and at other events, wearing our paint splattered coats and stethoscopes, and with prescription pads at the ready. We’ll either prescribe some art for you to go and look at or maybe an everyday creative activity for you to try at home.
We love thinking about art and creativity as a starting point for conversations and we firmly believe that every response is valid and important, whether you see yourself as an expert or not. We also believe in the power of FUN.
During the COVID-19 lockdown we missed being able to see each other and make things together. We felt the effects of separation and isolation on our own mental health and wellbeing, so we got together online once a week to be creative and hopefully feel a bit better.
The result is a collection of 15 Lockdown Special films. They’re a mixture of silliness in the face of a crisis, creative activities you can try out at home, and sometimes we even attempt to make art. And there’s lots of fun… always fun.
And you can watch them on this handy YouTube Playlist. The Art Doctors are Leeds-based artists Alison McIntyre and Liz Stirling, with regular special guest appearances from consultants, specialists and junior doctors. You can find out more about them here https://hatchprojects.org.uk/project/art-doctors/
Sarah, on a Regular Basis
Rhaid i’r dryw gael ei lyw.
A warm cake made with fruit and syrup
nestles under my jacket.
Hide under a hood of rhododendron for a moment.
It drips. The lane.
‘There is rain in my pockets.’
‘You need to put it in a poem, instead.’
Thick slices with butter, mugs of tea.
Her cracked hands.
Her in the house, me outdoors.
This time last year, a farmer neighbour
in her hallway, after her husband cleared off—
Do you need a kiss, Sarah?
His wife, in her last trimester.
Two hen’s eggs laid blue-green
fitting side by side
in her palm.
Her real lover, another; younger, farmer
knows nothing of this.
The forestry after intense sun
immobilised, caught in trees
another country ticks underfoot.
limestone, slate, heat-radiant—
fy milltir sgwâr
She walks my stone steps.
Jam-jar of Sweet William,
glass bottle for well water,
ceramic plate which held pie. Cloth mask.
‘We may never re-open our houses.’
This time last year, we Mary’d the lamb
delighting the holiday children.
Persisting, she feeds another fledgling jackdaw.
In time, woods and lane
fill with nurse birds
who answer to the sound of her voice—
‘Will he want that kiss now, Sarah?’
penyblwydd hapus happy birthday
fy milltir sgwâr home turf (literally— ‘my square mile’)
Rhaid i’r dryw gael ei lyw: (proverb) A wren must have its tail.
Suzanne Iuppa is a poet, community worker and conservationist living in the Dyfi Valley, mid Wales.
Her poems can be found in literary magazines including The Lampeter Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Zoomorphic, Slipstream, The Lake and many others. She enjoys watching foxes, badgers and pine martens visiting her garden at this time of year, and writes her first full poetry collection with a very loud goshawk for company.
Facebook: Refuge / poetry by Suzanne Iuppa
Jan Grotenbreg is a widely admired Dutch painter of skies, moonshapes and animals, most recently birds and clouds. With well over 60 exhibitions and sales throughout Europe and America, he lives and works in Amsterdam. His work can be found at http://www.jangrotenbreg.nl. Robert Roth is the author of Book of Pieces and Health Proxy. He is also co-creator of And Then magazine. He is based in New York. The music for “Bird in a storm” was written by Hendrik van Oordt. He lives in Amsterdam. Lotte van den Dikkenberg-Methorst is a recital pianist and accompanist based in Zeist. When not playing the piano she runs her own Scandinavian clothing store (https://deklopmode.nl).
All by myself
That’s been me
Many years of thoughts kept to myself
Freedom at last
As soon as began to fly like a bird
My wings were cropped
Stay at home
Thoughts gathering in my head
I want to be happy
Now I’m full of woe
Hanging my head down
Sleeping too much
Unable to sleep
Moved by people’s kindness and gratitude
But nothing can help
This will not go away
That is what I cling to