It only seems a moment ago since we were signing off 2020 and bracing ourselves for the onset of winter as a new variant of Covid played havoc despite the ongoing restrictions. Fast forward nearly three months and here we are on the threshold of tentative new beginnings. Almost one year on from the outbreak of a global pandemic that despite the worldwide vaccination programme is undoubtedly something we will have to learn to live with. Certainly for the foreseeable and perhaps the next couple of years at least. Since March 2020, the daily news bulletins have been dominated by truly awful statistics amid accusations of incompetence and stories of dedication and heroism. As everyone keeps reminding us, these are extraordinary times we are living through with the human and financial repercussions to be felt into the next few decades, possibly even longer…It therefore seems an obvious statement to make, but it was against this unprecedented background that our new publication – From Tarmac to Towpath: Excursions into Lockdown was first muted.
To be able to try processing everything, both myself and fellow collaborator Julian Hyde felt compelled to try and mark recent events somehow. We quickly realised that perhaps the best way forward would be to invite other artists/writers to contribute their own experiences of the past year. After packing up the Boundary Songs exhibition at Cross Lane Projects gallery, Kendal in October 2020, our attentions soon turned to the new project. Slowly, a fascinating body of work started to emerge from artists across the UK. Ranging from Joanna Pocock’s – Lockdown London to Clare Archibald’s – Ghost Trains of Lockdown, David Banning’s short story The Gift of Time, musician Alasdair MacLean’s After Self-isolation and Neil Jackson’s Catalogue of Lockdown. In total, thirteen artists have generously responded and contributed towards a narrative that plays out across the streets of London, Lancashire, Cumbria, Newcastle, Glasgow and up to the Firth of Forth.
The book’s cover image is currently being created by the artist Iain Sharpe. We will publish the book as a full colour hardback limited edition in May/June 2021. Any profits from sales will go to designated food banks. Please keep checking this website and @ChromaEditions Twitter feed for updates. A film piece by David Banning will also accompany the publication.