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Artist Chloe Le Tissier visits Crisis

In the run up to the Crisis Commission, artist Chloe Le Tissier came to the Crisis Skylight London learning and education centre to see some of the work of the charity

Chloe Le Tissier in the studio

“I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the Crisis Commission 2014 and enjoyed visiting  Crisis where I saw an art class in action. Hearing the members speak of what ‘home’ meant to them was thoroughly engaging and one phrase in particular, ‘it’s a collection of memories’, stuck with me.

“The class was doing life drawing and you could feel the focus and seriousness in the room; a challenge was underway. Having not so long ago studied at the Prince’s Drawing School, the sunlit studio brought back happy memories with the same sense of a common cause amongst like-minded people, to make and achieve through looking, seeing and drawing.”

As with all the artists taking part in the Crisis Commission, Le Tissier was asked to respond to the theme of ‘home’: “The first place that came to my mind in response to the theme was the wood near where I grew up in Guernsey, called ‘the Guet’.  As much as I tried to explore other notions within the theme I could not get away from this place, which is so significant in my personal development and history, a place where we had adventures as children and where I went to seek solitude as a teenager.

“I visited the Guet at the beginning of this year and came across a tree, which had grown at an angle, and against which broken twigs and branches, leaves and ferns were propped to form a den. I only looked at the den from a distance and this led me to think about personal space and ownership; the space which had been created felt as if it belonged to someone else and I had kept my distance in order to avoid an invasion of personal space.  In creating this painting I wished to capture the beauty of the scene I stumbled across, the stillness and the sense of a human presence, the echo of a person. 

“To me ‘home’ is personal and emotional; it is the place or the period in our lives, which was pivotal to our sense of identity and in turn to carving out our own place in the world.

“Composition is important to me, as is the process of painting.  Layering the paint thickly in places, using washes elsewhere and leaving canvas exposed, I worked delicately to build up a sense of depth and perspective, while thinking also about the overall balance of the composition.  The eye is led around the canvas from the fern in the foreground up the path and through into the woods.”

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