Lancaster’s recovery from Storm Desmond inspired artist’s new work

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.
Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Artist Sandy Gardner has released her latest work, which has been inspired by Lancaster residents and their ability to rise up above the challenges presented by Storm Desmond in December.

Sandy, who lives and works as a freelance artist in Lancaster, has produced work called The Art of Flying, which includes designs based on the idea of a phoenix rising from the floods.

Sandy said: “The devastation caused by Storm Desmond to so many businesses in Lancaster, and the knock-on effect this had on other business, individuals and my own business just before Christmas was shattering and disheartening for so many on varying levels.

“However one very positive thing that shone though during the aftermath of the floods was the abundance of optimistic and productive community spirit, businesses and individuals pulling together helping one another.

“It was so heart-warming to see and really gave me a faith in the strength the local community.

“Two things came to mind; Firstly that my own business should in even a small way aim to build upon and add to the existing business community and that the artwork I produce reflected the ability of the people of community to rise up above the setbacks Storm Desmond had presented. I endeavoured to work with people from Lancaster, Lancashire and the north west.”

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Sandy used the idea of spring being a time of rebirth and renewal as a background for her work.

“The vibrant energy, the productive nest building activity of birds during this season and the obvious metaphor of their ability to fly and rise above obstacles was reminiscent to me of the people of Lancaster,” she said.

“The people too were rebuilding their businesses, fixing their homes and investing in the future.”

Sandy’s idea was to take art off the wall to make it a movable extension of people. This was the beginning of The Art of Flying, a collection of artwear and artwork featuring full arm’s length intricate wing expanses inspired by from birds living in local habitats.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Having completed two winged scarf designs of British birds, the magpie and barn owl, Sandy looked at using the phoenix as a third design.

“As Lancaster and the north west was rising up above the setbacks caused by the storm I was reminded of the mythical bird” she said.

Sandy used local printers Standfast and Barracks to produce her work.

“Just as I started looking for a textile printer, I happened to see that Standfast and Barracks had received delivery of their new digital fabric printer,” she said.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Guy Morris.

“They had been very heavily hit by Storm Desmond. Their factory on Caton Road had felt the full brunt of the floods but as spring begun they too were getting back on their feet.

“Standfast and Barracks positively responded to my motives to work with local businesses and said they in turn are always keen support and work with local artists and designers like myself.”

The Art of Flying range of winged artwear and artworks is currently being printed by Standfast and Barracks and finished by the Lancaster business Incandescence Couture. The pieces will be on show at Lancaster’s Charter Market on Saturdays.

For more information go to www.sandygardner.co.uk.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.

Sandy Gardner. Photo by Gary Hill.