Part of our series Artists in Quarantine. We talk about the lives, interests and concerns of artists during the lockdown, based on ‘interviews’ with some of the artists we work with – some conducted by email (with a list of questions), some on the phone.
There was a sense that something was going to happen in the two weeks running up to the lockdown, although I hadn’t got my head around quite what that meant. I prepared some plates, ready to work at home near St Ives.
I moved to west Cornwall about 3 years ago – I was originally from Cornwall. I kept my studio in London with all my equipment. Down here I use Porthmeor Print Workshop to print and proof, and normally I would still go up to London for editioning. It has been unusual not being back to London since before Christmas. But besides occasionally not being able to get something I’d need, I’ve been fine – I don’t think that much has changed, I work mostly alone anyway. The work I have been doing in recent years is very labour intensive, and it takes a long time to make the plate. It has been a bit of a battle within the family home, with my daughter and home-schooling – my wife has set up a desk to work full-time in the bedroom upstairs, so we’ve got a floor each, and I’ve just been carving away downstairs. Now we are 9 weeks in, I’ve completed two and just about to start on the third one.
My 11-year-old daughter swims a lot – she’s amazing at swimming. When it all started it was very difficult because all the swimming pools are shut. We live only 3 minutes from the sea, and we tried sea swimming 8 weeks ago – wearing balaclavas and gloves, it was brutally cold, so we left it. Now it’s better that the sea has warmed up, and going to swim in the sea every day became a routine for the family – it’s torture, and I’m not sure I enjoy it, but it became a necessity and that’s what defines the day – climbing into bits of plastic and going for a swim.
One thing that does feel very curious is not showing any work in Spring – I normally do at a few art fairs in London. I do love getting lost in making work down here, but you are missing the opportunity to launch and present months of work before and to see them yourself. Without that, you lost a sense of direction. And we don’t know when this will end, so you have to start the next chapter without concluding the one before that.
I discovered that I hate Facebook. I got about 6 friends in real life and hundreds on Facebook, and then you realised that some people are not great in lockdown (or maybe in general?). I also realised how short-temped I am when it comes to home-schooling – I’m not the Dad I would like to be! But we are not perfect.
Tomorrow I’m going down to Porthmeor Print Workshop – it’s re-opened with limited access, people are keen to get back. I look forward to seeing how the two plates work out – it’s unusual because normally you would finish and print one after the other, so it will be interesting to see them side by side.
See Trevor’s work here – more to come.
Image: Spilling breakers Drypoint and engraved relief print, Edition of 100 | Image size 47x102cm Paper size 57x112cm | £490 unframed