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Finding inspiration in a natural high

 
Art project The Jaunt is uprooting artists and sending them to unfamiliar settings to help spur their creativity. This June, David Shillinglaw spent a few days in a summerhouse near the wild Danish coastline

Stretching almost 7,500 kilometres, the Danish coastline is a place of retreat and relaxation. Almost a quarter million Danes own summer houses near the Danish shoreline characterised by white sandy beaches and shallow turquoise sea.

This was the setting for the latest edition of The Jaunt, an art project that uproots an artist and takes them to a new destination. The ambition is to inspire the artists by removing them from their comfort zone. Following the trip, the artists gather their inspiration and produce an artwork, which is then produced and sold as a limited-edition screen print.

British artist David Shillinglaw spent five days in June in a wooden summerhouse in Sjællands Odde. Shillinglaw is known for his graphic and colourful style which often deals with the human condition and the struggles we all face.

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Shillinglaw’s ‘Return to Nature’ that he created following his trip to the summer house and which can be bought on The Jaunt’s website

Life wasn’t much of a struggle during his brief stay in the summerhouse, however,  where he basked in the tranquil summer air a stone’s throw from the ocean. He says his trip was inspired by nature and the need for a breath of fresh air.

“Once surrounded by trees, animals and the ocean, it felt like hitting the refresh button on my mental hard drive. I was able to genuinely relax and wind down, something I rarely get the opportunity for back home. I have spent a few very busy months on a number of projects and being at the summerhouse provided me with a very welcome change to my usual pace. I loved the place, really felt completely at home, which in turn gave me the opportunity to comfortably create new work. Even though I only spent a relatively short amount of time at the summer house, it has made a deep impression on me,” Shillinglaw said.

The resulting print is entitled Look to Nature and attempts to capture the landscape’s personality using symbols and hieroglyphs that reference seed pods, the coastline, plants, patterns and textures.

“Initially the print had the text ‘Look to Nature’ included, but I removed it from the composition to give the print a less specific focal point or association. I feel the shapes, patterns and lines speak for themselves, they are self-explanatory. I am very interested in the notion of a universal language and feel like this print is a push for me towards a more abstract space.” M

Shillinglaw’s print can be purchased online at www.thejaunt.net

Culture

By Peter Stanners

Co-founder and Editor-in-chief. Occasional photographer.

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