8275EA91 A027 44E7 9489 EE99A19786A2

Locked Out and Locked Down: Karen Beauchamp

During January and February I was working hard in my studio preparing for a solo show at the newly built cafe & gallery in Ardfern, Lucy’s, which is run by Lucy Gladstone, who is a gifted and imaginative cook.

The opening on the 27/28th February was a great success regardless of the weather but just a few weeks later, sadly all my work was effectively shut away for the next 12 weeks.

Initially bewildered and uncertain and unmotivated I started to cook imaginative meals with the huge stocks of food in my larder, using polenta, quinoa and managing to make pasta for the first time. I had just welcomed a vegetarian Workawayer to my solitary household on the 21st February and after quarantine, we became a ‘household unit' for the rest of Lockdown.

Luckily I have a large house and studio and an even larger garden which had lots of attention - the tubs and vegetable beds were restocked with soil and seeds of which I have yet to receive the harvest.

After a few weeks I came to the revelation that this was a Gift of Time. How many times have people said ‘Stop the world I want to get off’! - well it did stop.

Once I started breathing deeply and calmly I discovered that this was actually a time of inspiration, enhanced by wonderful weather and peace. Spring was bursting out with a succession of welcoming colours and flowers - snowdrops, primroses, bluebells and the nascent ferns. The ferns are of particular significance at this time as for me they symbolised the unlocking of so much as opposed to the locking up. A time of hope and an opportunity to see the world differently.

I started a series of limited edition hand printed wood and lino cuts - tackling new and innovative ways of printing and creating effects, producing my Locked Down Series. I was shut away but my creativity and inspiration had no boundaries.

Karen Beauchamp.