During the past few months we have explored several facets of the notion of solitude. Delving into the history of paintings by David Jagger allowed for consideration of the conventions of traditional portraiture and the effect that anonymity has on contemporary viewers. The solitary nature of portraiture can encourage contemplation of the lives of selected individuals.
Seeing Andy Fullalove’s work at Leeds Central Library furthered thoughts on solitude. The little figures and houses perched within looming, vibrant landscapes sit well alongside the homeward-bound souls within Kitty North’s paintings. These spiritual, dreamy works contrast with Paul Digby’s socially-conscious pieces, which draw us into thinking about the alienating and harsh potential held by solitude. This was in turn emphasised by Sarah Coggrave as she discussed her performance-based work and the solitary life of Miss Pilchard.
To celebrate the end of this volume we are delighted to present our readers with a selection of works submitted during our Solitude artist call. We hope you enjoy the pieces featured below and would like to thank readers for their support and interest so far. If you would like to order a printed copy of Volume II, please see the ‘Print‘ section of this website.
Vol. II cover competition winner
Andres Jaroslavsky, ‘Madres’. 2014.
Jade Long, ‘Homeland’. 2014.
Ruby Tingle, ‘Self: Prayer on a Lily Pad’. 2014.
I shuffle a deck in the Travelodge,
spread it out on the coverlet,
one by one by one
like the miles beneath my wheels.
It has come down to this:
a wide view of a car park,
the coral glow of the petrol-station,
a TV clamped to the wall
and cartoons at daybreak.
Someone in the next room
turning a tap on.
I think of the distance between us,
and skies when the light is going.
At the bedside are marigolds
in a glass vase.
I like their fabric shine,
the way they will not wilt,
their bright, unfailing colours.
– Pete Lancaster, ‘Patience’.
Tony Noble, ‘Small Homes and Big Trees, Batley Carr’.
Sally Gatie, ‘Violet Triptych’. 2012.
In the salty night sky
Boats gently rock
On the moon flooded sea
Echoes of laughter
The remains of the day
As the wind picks a chill
Stroll on the sand
Waves gently lapping
Lulling and calm
Alone on the pier
A figure stands still
Leaning into the fret
Breathing in the unknown
Looking up to the cliffs
Sea breeze in his face
Bracing he turns
By the lighthouse
Sheltered for now
He sits, and he sits
Listening to the whispers
Of the dark hidden sea
Serene in his solitude.
– Becky Spence.
Shortlisted works ::
Alan Carmichael, ‘Saltaire’. 2011.
Andy Fullalove, ‘Remote’. 2009.
Lucy Antwis, ‘Spirit’. 2013.
Sue Willmington, ‘Shed’. 2012.
Will Smith, ‘Return to Nowhere’. 2014.
More submissions ::
All of a sudden it occurred to her that nothing else really matters. These exquisitely beautiful solitary moments are neither more nor less significant than any others. The incessant need to evaluate ceases, and with it the underlying assumption that those pursuits that bring the most pleasure are somehow necessarily selfish. None of it mattered anymore. She stretched and luxuriated in this fresh knowledge, sensing that she’d broken through some invisible, stifling cocoon and could at last turn her full attention to the simple task of living.
For though her body was weak, her mind retained its full imaginative power and had perhaps even been enhanced by the forced inactivity – as if in compensation – so that she could enjoy these wild and meandering thought-adventures; losing herself in the labyrinth of her myriad make-believe escapades.
– Rhiannon Flood, ‘Convalescent Adventuress’ (extract). 2014.
Rachelle Antoinette, ‘Aurelia The Kinetic Essence’. 2014.
Lauren Iredale, ‘Pool’. 2013.
Graham Rhodes, ‘Upon This Blasted Heath’. 2013.
Loneliness crowds around me in my empty rooms
Loneliness swarms about me on the open moor
I can find no peace from the clanging hordes
Of deafening solitude, as they pound at my door
The laughing faces of old friends will not leave me
The savage stabs of lost loves come to haunt me
The spectral visitors do not come to me in peace
These ghouls rattle their chains and taunt me
I am constantly reminded of those I used to know
Friends I used to have and lovers I have lost
The glass of my life lies splintered at my feet
Shattered, I am left to bend and count the cost.
– Nick Allen, ‘Empty Rooms’. 1988.
Eileen Heaton, ‘Sea Urchin’. 2001.
Kasimiira Kontio, ‘Natural Rhapsody’. 2012.
Jennifer Rafferty, ‘Home’. 2014.
Lydia Brockless, ‘Untitled’. 2014.
Dave Bez, ‘The Winged Ship’. 2014.
Journal Contributors’ work ::
Sarah Coggrave, ‘Places To Sit: Number Two’. 2014.
Further works and details will be added to this article shortly.
Please keep an eye out for our next artist call for Volume III – this will centre around the notion of an afterglow.