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Interruptions / 23 November 2015

Alan Hopwood  November 2015 blog


It has been an exciting period since my last blog, I have turned 50, had work exhibited in Leeds and Leicester, and began my mentoring programme thanks to DASH. At the same time my work is at a crossroads, I have been looking back, searching for a way forward.

It is always interesting to look back at old sketchbooks, especially if you can do it with another creative person. The multitude of options and possible directions that are forgotten, once you take a certain path. The thoughts that are interrupted and broken by choices or events within the creative process are still there, to be re-discovered.

My work has always been about memories and time, often about the emotions that such thoughts trigger. But as I searched for a clue that would inform a new direction, I discovered something that had been present all along, but forgotten in my recent practice.

Interruptions or more powerful interventions have been a visible presence in much of my experimental work. In various forms, both figurative and abstract, these anomalies often interrupt a composition or divide a scene. This started me thinking about daily life and my memories of significant events throughout my life; sudden, unexpected interventions that force change, or less significant but more regular interruptions due to fluctuations in my mobility. These events are a major influence in how my life has been shaped; they often feel unwelcome and negative, but looking back, the interruptions often trigger a change that simply would not happen. They break the habits and rituals that would prevent change, forcefully derailing an otherwise predictable journey.

Many of my significant memories are related to such interventions. Emotionally charged and challenging, they have initiated the lifestyle changes that have almost always turned out to be positive. Things that at the time, got in the way of my happy, comfortable life; but on reflection, forced me to question and re-invent.

So my new direction for my artwork, becomes a return to an oversight in my previous work, exploring time and memories as before, but this time with more awareness of the importance of the unexpected, the uninvited and often random interventions that shape our lives.


Colin Hambrook

2 December 2015

Sounds like you've had several opportunities as well as a significant breakthrough in direction Alan. Has the medium for making the artwork changed? Or the way you approach the making process?