Nikki Gunson

Theme: Touch

Welcome to my world as I share this lantern making process with you. Words came first, definitions, synonyms, quotes, facts all the time scribbling down my thoughts.

My very dramatic garden gate

Using hand gestures, sign language & symbols. I wanted to explore the daily struggle I have as a touchy feely, hands on huggy Nanny of 3 heartachingly gorgeous grandchildren.

The finished lantern being part of a garden was always part of the thought process. Hands struggling against this unwanted, unnatural & unprecedented separation became a flower.

‘Do not touch’ ‘Keep your distance’ has made us touchless. I want to fill that space with creativity, hope & importantly love. A heart seedling was ready to grow.

Trails of words collected and created during this prosses will add the finishing ‘Touch!’

While working on the drawings, my mind builds the lantern, working out what materials to use and how to go about constructing it.

Once finished they are used like blue prints to take measurements, as I have a 3D version of the lantern built in my mind workshop.

Working drawings, ready to scale up as a template on the work space floor (Chalk outdoors, masking tape on carpet) Next time there will be Willow : )

2D outlines of heart seedling and hands taped out.

I add willow struts to hold the shape, & create points to attach the horizontal circles/ovals. once built these can be removed.

S0 many curvy crooks and crannies to manoeuvre glue covered tissue round. This was going to be a long day ending with incredibly pale prune fingers.

Words are were where I started and words are the last things to be added: Word trails Echoing the language of the hands help illustrate elements of my daily touchless struggle.

Word demands punctuate the Space Between.

Only the Seedling has Silence! I realised while sat in in our little garden, why I had chosen a seedling for this Covid Garden. The joy I feel seeing the first little curled up leaves and the hope felt watching it spring into life and fill the void. Words are unnecessary.

Finished illuminated sculpture.