Life zooms on, meanwhile dad remains stuck in a care home in Oxfordshire after breaking his neck, and cannot venture into the wider world. So I started to make linocuts as a visual diary of my life. These are prints I made to comment on what was happening at the time, to pin on the fridge, or on the walls of his room.
I was lucky enough to be invited to be a print fellow at the Royal Academy Schools last Autumn, so started to make prints about this iconic place: the corridors with elegant arching vaulted ceilings and huge north facing windows lit by moon-like lamps…
…the life drawing room with a collection of impressive casts of Roman and Greek busts…
…I put myself into all the prints like a sort of old-fashioned selfie, and added some arms to Venus, with a cell phone, just to bring her back to the present day.
The schools have a fabulous chef called Sephy who feeds everyone til they are rolling with contentment. I will never forget the pork chop that was bigger than my face and reminded me of a map of Africa.
The print room itself has a beautiful old Columbian press that I tried to make an etching of. In fact, as my linocuts are better than my etchings, here is a linocut of me trying to make an etching.
In January I went to Malaysia and Singapore with my mum, who dramatically declared it her last supper.
In reality we had at least 20 last suppers, and ate a lot!
The current mobile phone obsession seems to spill into our daily lives, and I found myself increasingly surrounded by phone zone silence.
Normally I don’t mind, but sometimes it seems so ridiculous to see people dripping wet after having been for a swim, standing like statues in front of this portable screen. This is the changing room of the London Fields Lido, my favourite pool in the world.
When I started this series, I was really sad about many things, including how little I can do to change my dad’s mobility.
I don’t know what the future holds, but I feel that we carry our burdens with us: sometimes they feel heavy, but sometimes they help us fly.