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If I really think about the situation we are in, it seems surprising that we are making work at all. It seems quite illogical when the rest of my waking existence is spent asking questions like: how do I keep my family safe? Where’s the next food delivery coming from? How on earth do we educate our daughter, Flo? Yet here I am repetitively blowing down a brass tube trying to control how a little bit of yellow fabric moves on the other end. Am I losing the plot or is there some value in what I am doing over and over and over again? Am I working right now or is this play? I don’t know but when I achieve my goal of controlling the little bit of yellow fabric I am quite pleased with myself, and when I show Flo she seems impressed also - so I guess it has some value. This is definitely the right thing to be doing for my sanity.
I make my way back to the house. Lu is upstairs in her studio printing with potatoes and kitchen cutlery. Could the isolation be getting to her too? Her prints are beautiful, and they fill me with an energy. Lu’s been printing with our daughter all morning and it occurred to me how well our house is working together in isolation. There is a beautiful symbiosis forming: we teach our daughter how to be an adult and she teaches us how to be a child; or something along those lines. Lu and myself chat over our ideas for a while and decide to collaborate on making a chess set(!). I will carve the pieces from a potato and bake them till they are varying shades of black and Lu will print the board on a piece of fabric (with a potato of course). We congratulate ourselves on a productive morning and head down stairs to make biscuits with our daughter. She is standing on the chair in the living room watering her seedlings on the windowsill; I take my phone out to film the moment. I try to get the cellophane rainbow on the window in the shot for posterity. The rainbow has become a symbol of hope in these new times. I just hope we can hold on to some of the good bits.
Louisa Loakes, Textile Artist,
Will Waterhouse, Multi-disciplinary Maker & daughter, Flo
South East London, 17 May 2020
Reason for Being
Explore the ‘Reason For Being’ Louisa Loakes & Will Waterhouse Edit here.