Artist diary: Madge Gill Co-Commission, part seven

Like ‘Madge, in times of stress, I follow my instinct and draw’ says Julia Oak as she pledges to keep despite news of the exhibition postponement.

With the announcement of the postponement, I went numb, but the adrenalin was still pumping through my body and I felt guilty about not working on the film and poetry to accompany my submission to meet the 7th January delivery date of my work.

I look back on the research I undertook on Madge Gill.

After a series of devastating events in March 1920, 100 years before the beginning of UK’s first lockdown Madge began to draw, knit, sing, sew and write automatically.

I yarn bombed my front garden.

I think how the Spanish Flu pandemic affected Madge Gill, she lost a son, Reggie, followed by her cousin Alice. I can’t even allow myself to think of how the current pandemic may affect my family, I pray they keep safe.

As did Madge, in times of stress, I follow my instinct and draw.

New Year. New Sketchbook. And by the time I had filled it with tiny 3mm circles in 40 different colours I had a plan.

New Year. New Sketchbook. New Resolution.
Concertina sketchbook: Fine liner pens on cartridge paper; 17cm high x 1.8 meters long

A New Resolution.

Just Draw Everyday.

Starting on the first day of lockdown I have and will continue to produce a drawing in 30 minutes.
It will be white ink on black A5 paper to keep my connection with my large drawing.
I plan to post an image each day on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #JustDrawEveryday.

I would love to see others join in when they can.

001 #JustDrawEveryday
White gel pen on A5 paper

I know that will not be my only drawing activity, there is artwork to finish and art resources to sort out. I have poetry to write; a film to make, somehow; birds to feed through the winter months in the garden and cooking different things.

One thing I promise I will not do. Sing. My neighbours are on lockdown too.

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