HOPE:  ambition, aspiration, expectation

to desire, to wish, to aim, to plan, to dream, to daydream

a longing, a yearning, a craving, a hankering


‘HOPE’ Kate Murdoch, 2020


Some time in early July, at a point when I just couldn’t seem to focus on getting anything done, I made a decision to invest time in a large-scale piece of creative work. The materials were all there – I just needed to show up at the studio and apply myself to getting the work made.

In my head, this work would be completed by the end of July. Scroll onto nearly the end of October and I’ve finally, just in the last day or two, declared the work finished! I didn’t realise at the outset just how substantial this piece of work would turn out to be – preparing, sizing up and colour co-ordinating the numerous flowers took much more time than I’d anticipated, as did the sticking of them – tiny, tiny flowers in many cases.

But the slow pace turned out to be the beauty of it in many ways: making this work became my ‘go to’ lockdown project and the studio, a place to be – on my own, for much needed time & space. I embraced the peace & quiet the studio offered every time I walked through the door – the work waiting for me. It’s also been good to touch base with other artists while there, however fleetingly.

The message I chose to write in vintage artificial silk flowers isn’t subtle, but I’ve been holding out for hope in so many other areas of my life in these past few months that I couldn’t think of a more appropriate word. Hope is what’s got so many of us through each day and certainly, making this piece of work proved to be a cathartic exercise for me. I lost myself in making it and welcomed a much needed distraction from thinking too much about the dire state of things, both in the UK and the world at large.

It’s also been a topic of conversation between myself & my elderly mum – something to share with her onscreen and something to talk about during my visits to her. I’ve been flattered that she’s shown such an interest in the work and has remembered to ask each week – ‘how’s the HOPE piece coming along?’ It’s clearly a piece of work that’s spoken to her.

I’ve photographed it now, both in and outside of the studio, but it’s hard to get an image that fully shows the detail, or manages to capture the true colour of the flowers, I feel. Still, the message remains the same and as news bulletins once again become full of reports about daily deaths from COVID-19, it feels particularly important that we hold onto at least a degree of hope about our future.