‘Why do we remember the past and not the future? Do we exist in time or does time exist in us?’ – The Order of Time, Carlo Rovelli.
Up until Covid, I had mostly looked outward for painting inspiration, but the time during lockdown precipitated a period of internal focus. I had been taking a painting class with ESOP, which managed to switch to a Zoom format for the first day that the UK went into lockdown. There was barely any transition time as I seem to remember that that lockdown for the following Monday was announced on the Friday afternoon.
I remember the initial, unknown strangeness of allowing people into what had previously been my own private home studio space. I hadn’t thought about it before the class started, so in the few minutes prior I suddenly panicked as I looked around the room. I hadn’t really realised prior to this moment just how private I was. I suppose this is probably what precipitated my interest in painting spaces during lockdown.
I began with painting views of actual spaces; my bedroom, the stairs, and the Zoom classroom. At first, I found the enforced situation novel and interesting, but eventually I began to find the inability to move frustrating. For me, it wasn’t about being able to go out and about in my daily routine, it was about not being able to move forward. We had decided early in 2019 that we would move to Lisbon, although specific dates hadn’t been decided. I had begun initial research for finding somewhere to live and had found somewhere that we really liked. I began dreaming about the space and tessellating the placement of our furniture within this space that only existed to me online. I began to do this almost religiously, every night before going to sleep.
Remembering the Future, 2020 was a painting from my imagination about the apartment we would be moving to. It came out of a pre-sleep dreaming, of remembering our plans in an uncertain future.