The new year has dawned and the old one has drifted into the past. Everything feels decidedly in flux and uncertain. The constant mantra that I hear of wanting things to ‘return to normal’ always catches my attention for it suggests that things were normal before. Its makes me ponder how collectively we view the world and our ideas of what we consider acceptable as part of the cultural narrative, which seems to consider the destruction of the world as ‘normal.’ Perhaps all of what is happening is part of the shifting of the collective mind of our shared human consciousness into a more compassionate, wiser and integrated world view. Whatever is the case I like to see recent and ongoing events in such a way. In these early days of the year I find myself often down by the river. For some curious inexplicable reason I never ventured along the riverbank from the village until now. Following Christmas some really lovely cold frosty weather arrived and this somehow inspired more explorations away from the usual routes. It was also helped by everything freezing so becoming more accessible for the area by the river is usually very waterlogged. I’m so glad to have discovered that part of the landscape, the ever rising and falling tides, the expansive sky and all the various creatures that inhabit the environment there are all a joy to behold. I’m considering doing a series of works and written responses while located at a certain point of the riverbank in various weathers and times of the day during these winter months. This hopefully might become my next book of immersive, place inspired words and artworks following on from the book ‘A Widening Water.’ I mean by this that the work is created out there rather than in the studio, a direct interpretive response to the elements and all that they contain. I have in mind themes of place, the introspective nature of winter, the reassuring regularity of the tides in a world in flux and the surrounding life with which we share the world. The other aspect of what I’m envisioning which is part of a broader shift in my work is the use of materials that I have both made sourced from the riverbank. More on this later!