Creative Chat ‘n’ Blog – Kaitlin Ferguson
Environmental artist Kaitlin Ferguson reflects on her podcast chat with interviewer David Johnson and publisher and illustrator Ric Savage. As part of a podcast series of 8 regional artists discussing the challenges that they have faced during Lockdown and what they have learnt as a result.
I am an environmental artist based in Norwich, my artistic practice crosses between many disciplines, but my particular focus is on sculpture, drawing and printmaking.
As an extension of this I also create participatory projects which involve working with people, connecting them with nature through artistic activities. Before lockdown, this involved traveling across the country, working with audiences of all ages.
At the start of lockdown, all of the projects I had been working on got cancelled or postponed, within the matter of a few days, this was a scary state to be in as a freelancer!
Then, with more time on my hands, I had a chance to pause and reflect. I decided to use this time as a chance to teach myself some new skills; video recording and editing. I also taught myself how to use a series of digital design packages.
One of the first projects I was able to use these digital skills on was a commission from MarketPlace as part of their ‘Creative Conversations in Isolation’ programme. I created a four-part video series entitled ‘Art and the Fens’ exploring different environment aspects of the Fens and shared ideas for how to make different creative responses.
Activities included making a recording card for documenting a walk, how to make a pocket sketchbook to draw in, a video on anthotype printing using food and spices, and finally a video about using textiles to explore Fenland geology.
It was important to me that the videos felt relaxed and like a conversation between me and the viewer. I also decided I wanted to create a handy guide to each video for people or download or print, hopefully making the project even more accessible.
Working in lockdown has really made me miss connecting with the people, and even though I know the videos can’t replace the joy of being in the same room, they are an important way for people to connect with others in isolation and use creativity for its therapeutic and relaxing benefits.
Since the project, I have been incorporating my newfound video and digital design skills into all of the other projects I am working on. I’ve found that, even though it can take a little while to get the hang of, using videos can be a really helpful way to share your ideas and artwork with others.