black and white drawing of an Oak tree on the left side of the landscape and a male and female figure on the right side, merging into a landscape of oak leaves

Freedom [C] Colin Hambrook 2013

The book is fast approaching completion now. It’s been pretty exhausting but I am pleased with the way it’s shaping up. The drawings are coming together and I’m beginning to think about putting some colour in the cover image. The knitting-boat was the drawing I made specifically, although seeing the layout artist Alan Morrison yesterday he suggested one of the other landscape images as a possible contender.

‘Freedom’ is much more complex – and it might work well as a cover, although it doesn’t immediately evoke the title. The poem describes the merging of ego boundaries – specifically my mother’s and my own – and the drawing is built around imagery from the poem.

Who was it stole her from the cradle under cover of dusk;
squeezed her through the gap between here and there?
to be kept under stones on lost days of Oak and Elder, Hazel and Beech.

There is a melancholy in the elemental quality of the imagery

Held by the pull of gentle hills, she resembles a slow fire
in an autumn wood, following the sound of the streams’ murmur.

But ultimately it ends on a positive note with a final resolution to find a space where it is okay just being me.

ever-inching towards the place of midnight
where, with deft hands, she will mould the spell
and become herself once more, free from promise.

About Knitting Time: art and poetry on the theme of psychosis

'Knitting Time: a journey through loss' is a poetry and visual arts project reflecting on the theme of art and psychosis. A book and exhibition of the work is due to be launched at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, West Sussex on 10 October 2013 to celebrate World Mental Health Day. During this research and development phase I want to gather responses, thoughts, recollections and comments, so please fill in my surveymonkey at and add your let me know what you think? Or feel free to email me via knitting-time [at]
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5 Responses to Freedom

  1. Jim Lyons says:

    There is a calming presence to all of your drawings, which I think is very interesting considering the psychosis that you speak about. I read a lot of fantasy novels, which harken back to the middle ages when magic, myth and legend were seen as one and time was more cyclical. The cyclical nature of time is present for me in your work as different events are linked and seeming to take place all at once. I guess it is the timelessness of your drawings that creates that calming presence for me. I have Irish and Scottish roots, and have always been inspired by Gaelic art, which appears to be one of your influences as well.

  2. oolung says:

    I love it black & white, but it doesn’t follow that a colour version won’t be nice too. I’d definitely stick to a narrow palette…

  3. detrich says:

    I’m not sure i would put colour on the cover save for the wash you have the blog here. I think your work stands as it is. There’s a scottish writer who uses pictures/drawings too who i always said i’d read (Alistair Grey?). Its partly because the drawings attract me in. I don’t think he uses colour. I guess its about having a point to use colour. I thik colour will misrepresent content save if it was pointing to the blog.

    • The decision to add some colour to the cover image is to do with the style of the Waterloo Press template Rich. That’s partly why I produced a simpler image with the Knitting Boat – easier to add block colour to. I’m going to experiment with using some colour pencils on copies of the drawings. But I agree that black and white has an impact that can be lost with colour.

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