As Sara says: This little book is a love-child of my art and writing practices, or a by-product of novels past and coming. It’s about the connection between handicraft and bird migration, as well as simply the account of a year spent making hundreds of small, painted objects in an isolated house.
In Handiwork, Sara Baume takes you through her life spanning one year, 2018 in this glorious memoir. In it, she remembers her Dad, her relationship with him whilst at the same time exploring what it is like to be an artist and create art. She compares life, her life and its pattern to the lives of birds. I adored her writing and prose, there are brilliant descriptive sentences that paint the scene for the reader.
“The living room table station attracts the paraphernalia of other practices. There’s a pile of sketchbooks and a carton of colouring pencils, several post-its glued to the window frame… “
“A winter which will bring a wind that unfastens the twine, the hair bobbles and the cable ties with its fingernails, wrenches the feeder from its pole, and scatters rotten seed across the swampy lawn”.
The writing is hugely personal, at times raw and it feels she is sharing very personal thoughts. She talks about the influences on her creative life, sharing stories of her grandfather and her Dad. The love she has for her Dad is immense and says she inherited a propensity for handiwork from him.
Sara loves William Morris, considers herself a disciple of his “for his doctrine of truth to nature and to materials, and to people”. I wonder if she has been to Red House, I suspect so and if anyone has the chance to visit it, I recommend it.
In these strange times, this was the perfect book to take me away from my world, enter Sara’s world and I found it a hugely powerful, enjoyable and therapeutic read.