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Isolation Hues

Searching for some inspiration during lockdown? PAINTER Jayson Gray shares how everyday visuals are keeping him creative while staying at home

“As I sat down at the beginning of this pandemic, I started to wonder: ‘where do we go from here?’

I’m sure most people panicked a wee bit; I started to worry about how I will I live, eat and pay my bills. But then I gave myself a mental slap, told myself to ‘shut up’ and to count myself lucky that I wasn’t on the front line, like all the key workers. That’s when I started to think: NOT ISOLATION BLUES, but ISOLATION HUES! What can I, as a creative person, do to make this situation more productive?

So, I’ve been taking stock of what’s around me and my environment. How I can use the ‘everyday visuals’ to start a new collection of images that have been inspired by the way light and inanimate objects can create vivid and vibrant contrasts of colour when they are strategically placed together? I’ve been really noticing things like this recently, as I sit pondering my future.

I must say I’m feeling very inspired to create and develop ideas based on this as a concept. Moroccan themed lamps, teamed with antique Japanese vases which sit alongside metallic silver disco balls and Fornasetti designs. Black lacquered furniture has been a surface housing all these objects that I’ve collected over the years, but I don’t take enough time to just sit and enjoy them, and what they stand for.

Generations of history are stored as memories in the Japanese vases, as they were my grandmother’s – brought back by ship from Japan in the ’60s. Mirror balls and orbs, which supposedly warn of evil spirits, as well as light my room up on a sunny day. I notice the light that reflects on the ‘carte blanche’, which is the powdery texture of the walls.

There’s modern technology too, such as a metallic rose gold laptop, sat on top of a bright orange resin chair, which often acts as a desk for me in early morning, and is one of my favourite spots to work. Right through to white marble and fresh red roses that fill the room with ‘saturation of tone’ and always make me smile.

So, I leave you with the circus shorts, an archive Vivienne Westwood piece from 1994 that shouts ‘SEND IN THE CLOWNS’ (how very fitting!)”

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