Lockdown: Up and Away
Up And Away (PS I Love You)
Nearly finished. I wrote to a mate about this as I was thinking about it: “I’ve started working on another lockdown painting. I’m trying to make them personal; real and imagined little waypoints in a life that you have to magnify in order to make the images a bit more surprising than usual. I remember a few years back seeing a couple of 80-somethings at a scruffy marina in the middle of the Isle of Wight, both drinking pints of Fosters and doing rollups. They were talking quietly, but intently.
Nearby was the rusting wreck of a beautiful paddle steamer that used to work the Solent, did some time at Dunkirk, then minesweeping in the war, then became a cheesy night club and, as faltering finances dictate, an abandoned hulk.
I asked one of them what he did and he said he was a retired sign writer. I shook his hand, I was quite overjoyed to meet someone who had that skill. I said what a shame it was a dying trade in the Age Of Perspex, and he said they liked coming to this place to be near this beautiful vessel.
“When beauty was a necessity”, he said, and after letting that sink in, I asked him is that what engaged them in their intense conversation. He said no, not all. “We were trying to decide on the best Miles Davis rhythm section.”
So I’ve imagined the power of their nostalgia weaving enough rope to save this beautiful ship which like their art was designed to look beautiful.
That’s what designers did.
Why not create beauty?
Why do anything else?