Pioneer SCG member Sarah Grace Dye has been busy during lockdown – she sent us an email from Germany to let us know what her practice has looked like the last few months.
I came to Frankfurt, Germany for a visit to see friends at the end of February and kind of got stuck. It’s actually been great though and although everything I had planned got cancelled I have found ways to develop my practice and take part in projects. I found myself stranded with very few materials or money and all the shops closed! The first thing I did was develop a way of making my own sketchbooks using free magazines from a book-swap, some white paint and thread. They have been so successful I won’t go back now…
With one of the books I made I decided to document the view out of each of the windows in the apartment I’m staying in and create time-lapse videos of the process. I have been invited to be part of an exhibition later this year in France with these drawings.
I make books as part of my practice and regularly take part in a monthly book arts challenge on Instagram called Are You Book Enough?. We respond to a word and create a book post on Instagram before the end of the month, then choose our favourite nine to share with the community. This has kept my practice going and pushed my imagination. Having very few materials at hand, I’ve had to be inventive!
I was supposed to be in Canada right now as part of a residency exploring drawing and book arts but that was not possible. However, myself and my friend Cat Silvertsen (artist and contact in Canada) came up with a way to complete the residency online. We’ve been having zoom studio sessions using our laptops so we can see each others’ faces and then our phones rigged up to film our tables to show what we’re working on. It’s worked really well and we’ve had some great sessions. The outcome of this collaboration will be at least one book for our collection here at the Artist Book Centre in Sheffield and we are hoping to hold a follow-up residency in Sheffield next summer.
And finally I am off to Iceland tomorrow to take up a two week drawing residency which has come about because of Covid-19. My friend Victoria Miguel, a curator and writer based in London, had a residency lined up to write in Reykjavik but as she lost all her earnings from March onwards she could not afford to accept it alone. She hatched a plan for me to join her and draw what I encounter, much as I have done in Frankfurt (and do wherever I travel) and she will write. That way we both get to share costs and have time to create a new body of work.