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Alan Hopwood - disability arts online
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A new direction / 7 October 2015

It’s been a busy and enjoyable summer, having time with family and exploring our beautiful country. All this activity has reduced my art output but I always have a camera with me and usually a sketchbook, pages from which are on my Facebook page. What this time does allow, is more thinking and planning. My work of late has been therapeutic and mostly Landscape based, but it was becoming more abstract and expressive, indicating a shift in my conceptual interests.

Thinking about people with a disability, or the elderly, and reflecting upon my own emotions as people interact with me when I am in a wheelchair or using crutches, I started to think how much does first impressions inhibit peoples’ perception of an individual? We are all guilt of making snap judgements, but in some cases these initial thoughts may be even more narrowed by the addition of an individual’s age, colour or physical support requirements. What depths are we all missing by relying upon our “first impression”? A discussion that has been debated upon many times.

 I recently went to a friend’s Open University graduation and I was pleased to see the diversity within the graduates, most or all had needed to fit their study around a busy life, family, work and or disability, and without their gowns and mortice boards, who would have known? So looking for a direction to take future work, I began to think about these “hidden depths” the complexities that make us all unique but which may not be immediately apparent.

I love using layers and textures with fragmented imagery, so it seems to fit nicely into my working practice, so this is where I shall start. For the image to go with this blog, I have had to look back through some experimental work, as I have yet to create anything for this new project. I found a piece called “But some” from 2014, it is ambiguous but suggestive and the inclusion of a section of graffiti text provides a question (and a title), it may well be the thing that starts me off in my new direction.


Colin Hambrook

7 October 2015

The weathered feel of the image gives it depth and the beginnings of a narrative... I look forward to seeing where these experiments take the work Alan

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