Strength in Numbers

This is my first blog and it had to be the journey I went on to create this piece of art between 2016 / 2017.

This piece will always hold a place in my heart for representing the beginning of the rekindling of my love affair with art.

I picked up an artist’s notebook in April 2016 with the intension of filling it up and submitting it for the ‘Artist Notebook Challenge 2016’.

I began with trepadation and procratination, knowing it was something I had to start but felt so overwhelmed by the prospect.  The notebook sat empty for many months until eventually I had some time to myself and I began to draw a little portrait and decided to paint it too! It was the start of something addictive and the notebook was half full within a couple of weeks. The momentum built and built until the 50 page notebook was filled to the brim.

I filled the next notebook in a very short space of time and then another one.  It became a habit which has formed the basis of a life long habit I’m now continuing.

I cherished the books and didn’t want to give them away for the Challenge in October. In a moment of total abandon one day I took out a scalpel and cut the pages out of the notebooks and spread over 100 pieces out on the floor, I felt totally aghast and it was at that moment I decided I would make an artpiece out of them.

In January, on the recommendation of my artist friend Lorna Watkins I joined an amazing creative networking group called ‘Bite the Biscuit’ on Facebook. Here I followed a call for artists from the Inspire Galerie in Dublin who wanted up and coming artists to exhibit in a group show coming up in March. They wanted a large piece of work so I straight away decided I would set this piece in motion.

I laid out the notebook pieces, purchased two 2 x 4 foot mdf boards, black paint and glue.

It was a long process, first I painted the boards black, let them dry, loosely laid out the each piece of art and measured them line by line to fit the boards. Each piece was trimmed to fit the space then carefully glued into position.

The piece first exhibited at Inspire Gallery at the ‘Wonky’ show in March 2017, it was well received. For practical reasons I exhibited it in two halves in my Celbridge exhibition in May 2017. One half was sold at this exhibition, the other half is now on my wall at home. It will get another airing soon when the time is right.


Karen Hickey