‘Hands Be Still’ is inspired by ‘Mary Poppins’, it shows this moment in time just prior to my 2017 piece ‘It’s Not Goodbye’ and it’s effectively everything stopping. So, what you can see in the image is an absolute buzz from all the butterflies fluttering around, the smoke rising up from the chimneys, the sunlight coming through the buildings, the clouds, the birds, the clock within the glass dome with the hands running away from themselves. Everything’s just stopped. The working title for the image was ‘Please Don’t Leave’ linking to ‘It’s Not Goodbye’, it’s two people effectively talking to each other, silently if anything, reassuring that nothing is forever, and we will meet again. So, it’s a really beautifully, poignant concept behind a very pretty image.
It actually relates to a 2016 commissioned piece entitled ‘The Beast From The East’ which was a much darker concept where it’s showing within the same setting, a toxic, dominating relationship that Mary and Bert had. It was something that I completely put together myself and it was pretty intense! Yet what you now see is that it’s a new chapter, things have moved on, evolved and are much lighter. What you have within this ultra-urban space is the impact of this persons work, where everything is so beautiful and unexpected within that environment and it’s what you leave behind, effectively.
This concept of evolution with the butterflies being set free, the leaves changing colour, the flowers growing and withering but new ones coming in their place, there’s just so much going on. It’s an image that I feel incredibly happy to have created, there’s a sense of comfort achieved, it’s how I talk through my art. I hope that so many people will find the same sort of comfort within this piece from what I’m trying to say, as well as it being a really quirky reference to ‘Mary Poppins’. The penguins that I’ve used quite a few times before that I now show as these little topiary creatures that are stood there guarding the clock, there’s so much to seek out and I’ve loved every minute, it’s a really, really special picture.