February 1, 2021

Do You Remember?

Philippa Tomlin

Acrylic And Spray Paint On Reclaimed Canvas. Ink Drawing On Cardboard, Digitally Manipulated.My Place in the Crowd, 2020

How can this feel nostalgic only one year on?

Remember your heart racing, the excitement of being part of a crowd, a favourite band, bass going through your chest in competition with your raised heart rate?

The smell of a crowd, the heat. Remember the feel of strangers touching your skin, standing so close with silent consent and shared experience? Brought up by the lights, jumping, dancing and singing in unison to well-loved words. Remember turning to whoever you were with and trying to say something – ‘this is amazing!’ But despite your closeness, your words are unheard. The meaning gets across though and they smile and nod, ‘yes, it’s brilliant!’ Like many, I live and breathe for live music and I miss it like something has been wrenched from me. And like many, I have a collection of rubbish gig photos, that feel so important at the time but you have a look later and they are the backs of people’s heads, a tiny smudge of the band and the lights. Now, the ordinary, although not taken for granted at the time, becomes an extraordinary moment frozen in time and remembered through painting. Until we can do it again!