In 2020, I completed three original pieces Calman Creige, Calman Tùchan and Calman Geal for the Colmcille 1500 celebrations, funded by CHARTS. These works celebrate St Columba's connection to the natural world by combining watercolours with light projections. This process is explored in my short film.
Being so physically cut off from folk, especially friends and family in Ireland, tangibly sharing artwork became very important. I am also concerned with the environmental impact of producing art and have been creating my own paper out of paper waste and experimenting with homemade paints as part of a project called Climate Friendly Culture, which is tracking the use of carbon in the cultural sector. I, therefore, wanted to share the artworks in an environmentally responsible way.
I decided to use a local printer, who creates archival quality prints and uses cotton paper. The cotton is a by-product of other processes, and the mill also uses offsetting measures. The resulting A5 prints should last a long time and capture the beautiful detail, movement and texture of the original mixed media artwork. When I am posting the prints, they are packaged in recycled materials which are themselves 100% recyclable. Where they are on sale in a local shop they are sold in biodegradable bags. As I discovered during the Climate Friendly Culture research it can be difficult to quantify the small amounts of carbon used in an individual artistic process. However, where we do have more impact is in using our networks and knowledge to demand greener materials with transparent supply chains. Perhaps this doesn’t sound very ‘artistic’, but as someone creating art that reflects, responds to and often derives from the natural world I feel this is at the heart of what I do.