Junita Calder

My work this advent has surprised me in several ways. I always intended it to speak about adventures in decolonisation and migrant belonging; but I didn't expect to reflect current events nor to be so openly personal. For so much of the imagery to depict myself, my work, my writing and my settling into the motherland. Perhaps this was enhanced by my commitment to revitalising found objects, which would otherwise leave my life for landfill? As a daily project, I had thought producing #artforadvent work that matched significant historical dates would chime well. Honouring five nuns - who gave their lives so that other women could be accommodated in lifeboats - on the anniversary of their death, 7th December. Using the words of my women friends, in answer to the question "What have you done for womens' rights this year?" seemed like cogent and complimentary ideas...What I didn't expect was the generosity of collaborators throughout and the ongoing gender equality musings this surfaced in other pieces. Simple, striking images have always appealed to me personally. I didn't guess that my assumed aesthetic would be affirmed, in art, via casual collaboration...and this encouragement to collate a significant number of rapidly-produced works, side-by-side. Finally, the frequent recurrence of bright blue took me very much by surprise! Perhaps a subconscious sign that the wellspring of creative response, now tapped, will bubble up more joy and blue skies thinking to brighten the year ahead?!

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