Lockdown this year has clearly caused a great deal of disruption and havoc for practitioners, makers and creatives in general - from larger organisations having to close, to individuals unable to get to their collective studios due to restrictions.
For Pomarius, a number of events have been postponed or cancelled. Luckily, a quick mobilisation online has helped a great deal. Many events shifted successfully to online platforms and the ‘artist support pledge’ amongst other initiatives has really helped to keep independent makers continuing to show work. I was incredibly grateful for the surge in support Pomarius experienced over lockdown through these online events.
Of course, some events and shows just couldn’t be adapted for online reception. RHS Hampton Court and others were moved first later in the year and then into 2021 entirely. As an update on this, I’m happy to say that the studio hasn’t completely lost the opportunity to design an installation display for Hampton Court. The invitation has automatically been shifted into next year’s lineup, which is great news.
I was also very lucky to live where I do. That is, remotely. Studio access wasn’t an issue and thankfully plaster bags were piled high in the weeks before the national lockdown - a lucky and unusually organised scenario! My partner, Freddy Morris, and I are the only two in our Riggle Street space so we were a single household moving back and forth.
Unable to access gardens further afield, new collections in this period came quite literally from the fields around my home. Wandering the hedgerows and fields, I was able to collect wild mushrooms again. Local gardens were also a treasure trove, with artichokes and asparagus all being grown nearby.
It’s been lovely to work closer to home and touch base with local sites again, but I’m looking forward to finding sites further afield for 2021 and 2022. I’d discussed last year the possibility of working with some gardens in Australia, linked to projects connected to my broader practice. I dallied with ‘exotic’ fruits when visiting the Eden Project. Looking ahead to 2022, the possibility of working with seed pods and fruit down under is still on the cards - fingers crossed. If the world is still in disarray, I can look to the postal service again - pomegranates and figs arriving from Turkey and France by post has worked before!