Finding Order in the Chaos
Previous to the UK going into lockdown, I was planning to start a new series of work. But having taken delivery of canvases and paper, I found the country shut down.
Being a Type 1 diabetic, I am in the group most vulnerable to complications from Covid, so I went straight into isolation. It was difficult at first, having three children to homeschool, but we soon settled into a routine.
I create both digital and physical artwork, so having my computer at home was a godsend, as I could work on digital paintings throughout lockdown, although after a few weeks I was itching to get to the studio and create some physical work. After a lot of thought I decided against doing that because I share the studio with three other artists, one of whom is also a Type 1 diabetic. So Instead I ordered a pack of paper and charcoal and started working on some pieces from home. The work I created was slightly different from my usual work, which blends organic textures with geometric shapes found around the city. I hadn’t made a conscious decision, but the new charcoal drawings had a cubist feel to them. I think not leaving the house in over a month, just having the four walls to look at, influenced me to use bold solid lines, sharp edges that filled the page. Throughout lockdown I created about 10 charcoal drawings as well as the daily digital paintings I upload to instagram.
The underlying theme in all my work is finding the balance between order and chaos, something we’ve all had to do in 2020.
I’ve been able to get back to the studio to start work on my new series, entitled Angels and Saints. It could be some time before I am able to complete the series as COVID-19 cases are rising fast and it’s only a matter of time before the UK is back in lockdown.
Copyright © 2020 Richard Shipley
Richard Shipley is an abstract painter who originates from York, North Yorkshire, and is now a resident of Bristol in the southwest of England. Shipley’s love of art began in 1987, when he was introduced to graffiti art,which inspired him to pick up the can, and the rest is history. Over the years Shipley’s work has evolved from his early graffiti writings to the non-objective abstract aesthetic he explores today. Heavily influenced by the dynamism of the Italian Futurists such as Umberto Boccioni and the geometry of Kazimir Malevich and the Suprematist movement, Shipley keeps his roots in graffiti art.