I was recently one of five artists commissioned by ROAR (Rotherham Open Arts Rennaissance) to produce a ‘Trail’ that would give people the opportunity to explore the local environment, whilst helping with their physical and emotional well-being. I decided to try and get people to look around at the decorations and embellishments found on many buildings in the town centre, drawing them and building them into a composite Green Man figure. (Rotherham Minster has a renowned example of a Green Man carving) Whilst planning the trail, I was actually inspired to do the activity for myself – something I found hugely enjoyable and which resulted in the image shown. The project is called RothTrails and can be accessed from the ROAR website.
For some time now, I have been wanting to make a print of the magical stones to be found at the World Heritage Site of Avebury – one of the biggest stone circles in Europe. Having tried (and failed miserably) to do a collagraph print, I settled back on a lino cut. However, this time I used sponges rather than rollers to apply the inks to give it more of a textured finish. Whilst there are undoubtedly some flaws evident, I am generally very pleased with the finished result; there is a very graphic quality to the image but that reflects my drawing style, which has always ended up with quite well-defined, thick lines, even when I try not to!
Having no other place to exhibit my work during lockdown (apart from online, but that doesn’t really count) I have been displaying cards showing my Green Man design, on trees and gate-posts at various places, whilst out on our daily walks. Despite being in Rotherham, we’re very fortunate to live near fields and woodlands in Wickersley, Rotherham, so the environment is, I feel, fitting for these cards. Although there is the opportunity for feedback (I put my email address on the back) no-one has been in touch – I didn’t really think they would – but at least two of them have been taken, so they are being seen. I’ll never know whether they were taken by people wanting to own the card, or by kids trashing them but either way, they are being interacted with!
Here is the completed print of Cadman Bridge, a bridge built in 1819 over the Sheffield and Tinsley Canal in Sheffield City centre, England. The bridge is on one of the streets or lanes in Sheffield bearing that name – my name. Research shows that my ancestors, the Cadmans, were mostly scissor or knife makers ie. some of the so-called ‘Little Mesters’ who populated the City many years ago, working in Sheffield steel. A couple of years ago, my band played at a wedding in the Millennium Galleries building in the City centre – it was only recently that I discovered the room we were playing in is called The Cadman Room!
The print is a reduction lino-cut, with four layers. I kept it in monochrome as I felt it better reflected the history and culture of the area – there are still small steel workshops there.
This is the final result of a project I’ve had knocking around for a few weeks now. I wanted to make a bigger version of the ‘Tin Can Green Man’ model that I made last year, and have considered buying large sheets of metal. However, on revisiting the original models, I decided it would be interesting to make my own sheet of metal from a collection of discarded drinks cans. The cans were glued together in a patchwork and folded as before. The only new element, was the addition of some metal ivy leaves that were found in my shed during a clear-out. The model is about 40cm
There have been some beautiful sunny days during this period of lockdown. Having used the time-lapse function on my phone whilst on a bike ride (see earlier post), I used the same function, setting the phone up on the roof of a shed in the garden and left it to record the passing of clouds for an hour. It was a relatively still, calm day with no discernible movement – the film shows otherwise! The music is ‘A Sprinkling of Clouds’ by Gong, from the album ‘You’ – a classic if ever there was one.
As a working, performing musician, the current lockdown situation has obviously had quite a profound effect on my activities. Ordinarily, I am out every week singing with either the band ‘The Rogues’ or my duo ‘Meadowland.’ With The Rogues, we have chosen a number of songs and individually recorded our separate parts in our own homes, which I have then pieced together both visually and musically. These can be found on our Facebook page: Rotherham Rogues.
This week, Meadowland have made a recording in a similar way. In keeping with my artistic intent of looking at “Contrasts and Anomalies” we chose a classic dance track by Avicci and performed it in a very different, almost Bluegrass style, using mandolin, banjo, guitar and ukulele. The video can be found on my Facebook page (Kevan Cadman) or on my Instagram feed: @grooveware_art
Click on the title below to hear the audio track.
This is the second image in the “Shouting At The World” series, inspired by the gargoyles and grotesques found on many medieval churches around Britain. This particular gargoyle is from a church in Lincolnshire. I have intentionally designed the image to have a similar look to the picture cards in a deck of cards.
Still not able to get into my studio (‘Essential travel’ only rule still applies) I decided to set myself the challenge of drawing, cutting and printing an image in one day. Not only that, but decided to try my hand at a self-portrait. Having never attempted a portrait of any kind, self or otherwise, the fact that the resulting image looks vaguely human is a bonus to me! I’m told I look tired – oh well, so be it. I have gone for the negative rather than positive lines simply because of the time constraints and the difficulties of working at a small scale (15cm x 8cm) – I only have a small printing press available at home.
A project conceived some time ago, I finally got around to printing this image as a greeting card, complete with hand-cut type. The design is a lino-cut based as closely as possible on the patterns created by inking up an origami face – seen in an earlier post. I have been asked if anyone would want a card that says ‘Shout!’ but I think it is appropriate for any occasion: shout “Hurray it’s your birthday!”, shout “Congratulations on your new job”, shout “It’s a Boy!” and so on – the possibilities are endless, it just depends what message you choose to write inside.