I moved studio to my back bedroom in March, and since then I have painted 3 works, sold four, and massively improved my sourdough skills to the point of adequacy. It’s been an interesting time, our daily walks in the evening taking us through the urban woodland of unbuildable land and allotments that is the Edge at the top of our street. I have seen spring emerge, the brilliance of the lime leaves slowly giving way to the heavier greens, foxes emboldened by the quiet wandering the streets by daylight, and the air so clean the colours are pure.
I saw opportunity. I saw the possibility that we could take advantage of this temporary cessation of movement to think about where we were going, and how we were going to get there. World CO2 emissions are down, estimated at 8% , to reach the 1.5% target we would need that reduction every year. Here we have a fantastic opportunity to reshape our production, while it is halted. To build a greener, more sustainable, industrial base. Others saw this too, and I look forward to the possibility that in Europe at least this may happen. We are leaving Europe, for us that future seems vanishing small. The road we will travel is littered with the relics that inhabit our collective identity, and it is the inertia of our past that drags us away from other routes to head down the same diminishing path.
Of course it’s possible that the UK government might have an epiphany, and go down the same route. Possible, but unlikely. There’s little direct profit in combating climate change, and what there is will take time to mature. There’s a quicker buck to be made selling off our few remaining public services, and betting on the failure of what’s left of our industries than building for a different future. Meanwhile, caught in the chains of our parochialism our boundaries become smaller as we try to resist the movement of peoples pressured by climate change to migrate to less hostile climes. While we posture, climate change has a real impact on many populations, and never has the time for a united global approach been more apparent. I leave you with a line from Leonard Cohen’s last album, and hope that it not be true.
No-one to follow and nothing to teach, except that the goal falls short of the reach. (L.Cohen, The Goal – From Thanks for the dance)