• Naseem Syed

'My Mother's Hands' by Claire Blanning

Barking Mad – Art By Claire

Insta: barkingmad_artbyclaire

I usually draw tree illustrations using dotwork/pointilisim. The repetition process is therapeutic to me, as I live with depression and anxiety.

Has lockdown changed you? How? Why? What affect has lockdown had on you?

I don’t think it’s changed me, other than my appreciation of the small things in life has been enhanced. Spending time with my daughters, seeing a beautiful sunrise/sunset. Hearing bird song, with no hum of traffic in the background. I always try to practise mindfulness – lockdown has made it more necessary.

What made you smile or brought you joy in lockdown? Can you explain it...

Spending time in the garden with my daughter, playing cards, looking at the stars. The wildflowers and grasses which weren’t cut as they usually would be and instead were left to flourish. Walking dog at night/first thing in the morning and there being no traffic and people about.

Have you changed since lockdown? Tell me why?

It’s made me wary of going anywhere with crowds of people. I haven’t been very creative. With so much to deal with since April I have mainly felt numb. This project has helped get the creative juices flowing again.

What is the story behind your hand art?

The death of my parents from covid, particularly my mum. The glove and mit

Relate to my poem, about a mothers love and what she did for/to me growing up. The string joining the two. (as we had when we were kids) Symbolises the eternal connection which can never be broken. The sadness of not being allowed to be with her when she died.

I've used the vanity case my Mum had for her 21st birthday. As a kid growing up it was always full of treasures - make-up, jewellery with all Mum's stories attached of who gave her what.

I wanted to recreate that same feeling of treasured possessions and have placed in the case things that were meaningful in my Mum's life - her faith, family, work and home life. This includes her Bible, a well-used recipe book given to her on her wedding day by one of her sisters, a plaque from a garden seat given to her on her retirement, knitting needles, thread, her tape measure (which only has inches on it!) and photos of her with my daughters and with me as a child.

Anything else you would like to share?

It was important to use some of my mums knitting.

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