TRIGGER WARNING. This was in effect a residency at Soft Touch Arts between 2017/2018. My art studio was based at De Montfort University at the time while I was doing an art foundation course. I collected something like 27 broken / disused guitars, and 2 ukuleles, then made them into a pair of wings in the courtyard at STA. The plan was originally to point each guitar in the individual directions of feathers, but I made an executive decision at the point of making it to keep them all more parallel to each other. Less messy that way, but less perhaps obvious what the sculpture is meant to be. I had all kinds of ideas like suspending them from the steel beams inside, which was impossible for safety reasons. The connection the work has to the location is about my personal connection to STA and I used the form of wings as a phoenix metaphor; I came to the organisation as a suicidal dropout and became a professional artist. I thought about burning the sculpture to complete the metaphor, but I ended up donating them to the students on the foundation course to make more art with instead.
This work was a celebration of growth and change. It was a reference to my journey: of first attending STA sessions with the intention of getting back into music, but then getting into visual art and then running workshops on their behalf for years. As a kid in school I was convinced I was going to pursue a career in music but I stopped practicing when my mental health deteriorated around 2011. When I worked on my health I assumed I would start practicing again. In reality, the end of that road was the beginning of the next one: and who knows? Maybe another path in the future takes me back into music again. As long as I'm not giving up on the goal, which for me is doing things I love for a living, it doesn't make a difference how I do it.