'Anteriors 2', 2021

-Watercolour and pencil on heavyweight cartridge paper, each 216 x 280mm

'Anteriors 2' are the second set of six unique watercolours made in response to my experience as part of a shielding family in lockdown, and to raise money for Downright Excellent, the Down Syndrome charity we take our daughter Alice to.

The first set of 'Anteriors' were made in 2020 and sold on Instagram as part of the #ArtistSupportPledge and raised £1000. 

Like the first set, these use the same size and format of 'The World of Interiors' magazine, with the main 'cover' image representing something of my feelings throughout this time. Each is a planned composition but improvised straight onto the paper. For this set the title of each one is derived from an anagram of the word 'Interiors', that somehow pairs with the imagery.

Above: 'Ironi Rest' is built around the outline of a sketch I made during the first lockdown of a Low Squat, an Isometric (or static, unmoving) exercise from a series I was practicing then. Traced around with masking fluid it was then flooded with watercolour pigment.

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Above: 'Iron Rites' is a transcription of various paperwork gathered throughout the lockdowns. Daily childcare schedule, teaching notes, 'To Do' list and colouring in.

Each one an optimistic attempt to quantify something intangible, full comprehension just out of reach. Laid out on our dining table and painted in a trompe l'oeil manner, inspired by the book covers of Richard Chopping.

Above: 'Erors Init' is an attempt to chart the colours of our weekly food delivery. The fresh, packaged or frozen items that I am still washing down piece by piece before putting away. Laid out within the pattern of the chicken wire mesh that I use a lot of in one of my other paid jobs.

Above: 'Roten Iris' is my elastic resistance exercise band, collapsed on the floor. Thinking about the repetitive looping of days and weeks, picked out with points of interest.

Above: 'Siri Tenor' is my attempt at a watercolour self portrait. Sat in front of the mirror in a blue and red striped shirt I painted it without ever looking back at the paper. Perhaps somehow also reflecting something of my sense of self during these times.

Above: 'Err, Is It? No.' is based on the graphics of a billboard poster advertising the latest 'Now That's What I Call Music...' album that I would pass every day last summer on my daily walks with my two small children. It was replaced in the Autumn lockdown by one for the next in the series. The graphics are always in a seemingly endless, extruded, faceted font. I would walk past daydreaming about the current slipperiness of time and the intangible moment, as we slide from one week to the next, one trauma to the next.

As before, I sold the watercolours via Instagram, launching them first with a studio tour video. Each was £300, with £250 of that going to Downright Excellent. The full set sold out a few days later, and with some extra generosity from one buyer we raised £1600!


Everything was hosted on www.instagram.com/BarrySykes with the hashtag #WorldOfAnteriors.


Anterior
adjective
- 1. Outer. 2. Coming before in time. 3. Situated towards the head.

Anteriors
noun
- 1. The six teeth at the front of the mouth.