By Katrina ffiske

Salisbury-based artist, Simon Howden, spoke to New Valley News about how he has found inspiration in lockdown.

“As both a graphic designer and fine artist, lockdowns for me have been ‘double edged’, less design work as most of my clients had to close down and no exhibitions to work towards.

“How did I occupy all this extra time, keep motivated, stay inspired and look after my mental well-being during these difficult times?
“I decided to start a series of posters recording the ever-changing language, facts and figures from ‘Day 1’ of lockdown in March 2020, thinking all this would last no more than six month’s max.

“As time dragged on, I soon realised this was my daily form of therapy, and a way of distancing from it all during those early days. Never did I imagine I would still be recording data nearly a year later!

“As an artist, the time has given me the chance to be more productive – not normally afforded. After a long period of indecision, I realised there was no pressure to produce works for anyone but myself.”

“Finally finding the motivation and inspiration to start a collection of paintings I decided to focus on my daily view from my studio, Salisbury Cathedral.

“I’m lucky to have such a view with many spectacular sunsets. What’s staring you in the face is not always obvious! Without doubt these works have been affected by current times, perhaps a little “darker” than normal, but painting has helped me through these very strange times.”

Simon encouraged readers: “For good mental health, and a moment of distraction, I encourage all to be creative in whatever form appeals. Baking, knitting, drawing, painting – whatever it takes, you can be creative with it – if not for anyone else, for yourself!”
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