There were two exchanges today – the first a virtual exchange, the second a real time one.

Artist Cathy Fitzgerald transferred a copy of her video ‘Transformation’ to me over the Internet. This was saved to my laptop, which I then connected to the video mixer and data projector and mixed my hand into the image in order to draw it.

Cathy’s piece documents the beginning of a process she has instigated to transform a conifer forest into sustainable woodland. She writes ‘This is a slow art practice, in forty years the forest will be ecologically and economically more valuable; the predominant species will possibly be ash, with oak, alder and other native species and some remaining, large conifer. Although with nature calling the shots, nothing is certain.’

I ran the video several times in order to learn how to draw into it. Some areas of focus reasserted themselves on each playing and I noticed how I paced my responses, gaining a rhythm of looking and mark making that grew increasingly synchronised as the drawing progressed.

You can view Cathy’s video here


Louise Ritchie brought Maisey in to the demonstration space. Maisey, a two-year-old rescue dog, was full of energy and ready for a walk. But before her walk she attended the Energy Gift Exchange and willingly chased a ball for us in a confined space.  I attempted to follow her traces of movement and sudden bursts of energy as she played with the ball Louise threw for her. It was a totally different engagement from drawing into the Cathy’s video. Where that was meditative, this was vital. I had to be ‘on the ball’ to try and keep up with Maisey and anticipate where she might go. I tuned into her energy in an empathic mode and became ‘dog’ for a few moments. Maisey didn’t seem to mind.