Art

An Open Sky: 500 Birds above Lockdown (2020)

An album of 506 carbon drawings on rice paper, including 27 large plates. Made for GMCA Covid-19 Creative Commissions, April – May 2020

(Photos: Michael Pollard)

An Open Sky

In a new ritual we emerge each day from lockdown to thread our way past red-brick houses. We keep two metres apart from our fellow human beings in a choreography designed to prevent the spread of a virus that could rob us of the breath of life.

A broken down fence admits us to another world where once Jackson’s works made and sold millions of bricks of a type known as ‘Cheshire commons’. Now silver-grey aspens converge to form a forest, pliant and densely packed, a green lung breathing fresh air into the ariel blue of an open sky.  Cyclical in their measures, our feet repeat the same route round this emerald world of nature every day. Through time leaves unfurl, plants grow luxuriant, butterflies lurch haphazardly and magpies rule the roost. Gathering in gangs, resplendent in Napoleonic plumage, they graze the grassland with the concentration of sheep.

And each day the artist stops to draw them, capturing their forms and agitated oscillations with sharp decisive movements of pencil on paper. These bare-bone portraits of birds are then transcribed later in the studio, into unseen drawings, through the medium of carbon paper.

But one day comes, about the time of the arrival of the swifts, when it becomes clear that something is amiss within this idyll. Earth has been disturbed and the rubbish dumped into the former clay pits in times past uncovered. Needle-like fibres of asbestos are free to float airborne and enter human lungs and rob them of the breath of life.  People are forbidden, fences are erected and a paradise is lost. Yet the memory of this pocket of green space lives on in the teeming aviary of drawn birds recorded by the artist. 

Stella Halkyard, Manchester, June 2020

*****

Screenshot 2019-09-19 at 18.57.20

Galaxy’s Bridge (2019), stainless steel, blue Perspex, inscribed plain Perspex, 300 x 350mm

(Photo: Michael Pollard)

Screenshot 2019-09-19 at 18.57.42

Laser Fall (2019), stainless steel, red Perspex, inscribed plain Perspex, 300 x 250mm

(Photo: Michael Pollard)

Screenshot 2019-09-19 at 18.57.31

Crested Devotion (2019), stainless steel, orange Perspex, inscribed plain Perspex, 300 x 350mm

(Photo: Michael Pollard)

mary griffiths029499-1

Upcast I (2017), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood, 297 x 210 x 18mm (Photo: Michael Pollard)

mary griffiths029502

Astley Ribbon (2017), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood, 210 x 22970 x 18mm (Photo: Michael Pollard)

DSC_5518

Wild Honey (2018), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood, three panels each 210 x 22970 x 18mm (Photo: Michael Pollard)

DSC_5513

Sweet Briar (Yates and Thom Ltd) (2018), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood, 490 x 690 x 25mm (Photo: Livia Lazar), shown with Upcast I and Astley Ribbon

CF032048web
CF032040web
CF032029web
CF032026web
CF032062web

Colliery Pigeons (2017 – 18), ink on paper, 358 x 508mm (Photos: Michael Pollard)

Crested Devotion

Crested Devotion (2017), inscribed graphite and watercolour on gesso on plywood (297 x 210 x 18mm)

DSC02725_RT

Morning Pinch (2017), inscribed graphite and watercolour on gesso on plywood (2917 x 210 x 18mm)

DSC02726_RT

Razor Star (2017), inscribed graphite and watecolour on gesso on plywood (297 x 210 x 18mm)

DSC02729_RT

Turbine (2017), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood (297 x 210 x 18mm)

DSC02727_RT

Ellipse (2017), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood (297 x 210 x 18mm)

After Seathwaite (2015)

After Seathwaite (2015), inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood (297 x 210 x 18mm)

Causeway

Causeway (2013), inscribed graphite on linoleum on board

Arts Council Collection

FullSizeRender[1]

Microlight (2013), inscribed graphite on gesso on board

Arts Council Collection

The Siege of Gaza web

The Siege of Gaza, inscribed graphite on gesso on plywood, with silver leaf (2 panels 210 x 297 x 18mm)

IMG_0395

Telegraph 1 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

IMG_0399

Telegraph 2 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

IMG_0391

Rangefinder 1 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

IMG_0392

Rangefinder 2 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

IMG_0393

Rangefinder 3 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

IMG_0394

Rangefinder 4 (2013), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

MaryGriffiths003353

Where Few Dwelled (2010), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)

MaryGriffiths003361

Where Few Dwelled (2010), inscribed graphite on paper (210 x 297mm)