In these grim times of self-isolation and social distancing, fully engaging with my art and creativity has never been more important for my sense of happiness and general wellbeing. My art has always been a meditative, therapeutic practice which keeps my mind focused and enquiring. Art has the power to stimulate, inspire and soothe, and the decision to pursue life as a practitioner of the arts is in itself for the most part a solitary occupation. The dire circumstances currently in the outside world have forced us all on an inward journey both physically and mentally. Art provides a much needed escape from the grim realities of the virus and the outside world. There are blessings in isolation however. As dire as the situation seems I think the discipline of quarantine has proved to be a unique opportunity for creatives to exploit the situation and turn it their own advantage. Although the virus may have physically restricted our movement, our minds and imagination are free to go wherever they may so choose aided by the magical worlds contained in books and of course the internet. I personally haven't felt this inspired in a long time, and feel extremely grateful to have a passion to engage in which keeps both my hands and mind fully engaged at this time. Perhaps it's the sense of facing up to my own mortality and that of loved ones in the light of this lethal virus, and realising how precious time actually is. The act of making seems to have taken on more of an imperative than ever. I have been looking through sketchbooks old and new, and experimenting with various ideas, creating several new series and pieces since the beginning of the year featuring my signature hand-cut butterflies. In this new body of work I have completed two of my most complex stitched and collaged designs (with more on the way), and am really excited about the directions in which the new work is going. I look forward to sharing more of the results in better times, when the virus is vanquished and something like normality resumes once again. May we all continue to stay safe. May we all continue to stay well.