Covid put paid to the Peach Croft exhibition in 2020, but out of the pandemic experience arose an idea for a new challenge, entitled ‘Grass Roots’. This was inspired by the story of Angus MacPhee of South Uist, told in Roger Hutchinson’s book ‘The Silent Weaver’. Angus, damaged by his experiences in WW2, living in an asylum and unable to return to his beloved island, took to twisting long grass to make ropes, as crofters do in the Hebrides, and then he knitted or wove them into fantastic garments, adding in leaves and flowers. Late in his life this was recognised as art.
Roger Hutchinson’s book tells us ‘Art Extraordinary (also known as Raw Art or Outsider Art) arises from a powerful compulsion to create an inner personal vision … Good art may be created by someone who never thought of himself as an artist; not least because his sense of self was shattered by illness. He will not give us neat and pretty work. He will give us raw art.’
It made us think hard about what we do as artists and the result is a series of art works created in lockdown conditions, departing from our usual methods of working, using found objects, or whatever materials we had to hand; arising from our own experiences and compulsions. We will display these in Artweeks 2021 (Covid permitting) alongside the paintings, ceramics, textiles, jewellery and silver that we have to show at Peach Croft.