His plan is to have three phases which would involve both patients and artists. the first phase had artists going into the hospital to paint, draw, sketch, whatever. But 'I am a potter' I said, and I was hesitant at first but eventually I really enjoyed myself. Some of us drew machinery, others the surrounding trees, and some like me, drew people. Sitting in the main corridor of a busy hospital the only people you have a chance of sketching are those of mature years. Nurses, auxiliaries, doctors - forget it, they are here and gone in a flash, so 'old men' it was.
Inevitably we were to work towards exhibition and I wanted to do something in clay. It took at least six months to develop an impressionistic style which reflected my quick hospital sketches. I have continued in this new and completely different direction alongside my usual thrown domestic ware, and am completely hooked.
my latest figures have been made for a forthcoming exhibition running form the 14th January 2005 for a month at the Brindley, Which is the new custom built Arts Centre in Runcorn, Cheshire. it is an exhibition called 'all in a days work'. That is a piece produced in 24 hours. I set myself the personal challenge of making two interacting figures built to the height of my electric kiln, 27” in paper clay and then smoke fired (they were eventually 24"). What a challenge and a steep learning curve. What happened to Doctor Cliff's phases 2 and 3 I hear you ask. Well, phase 2 is to have artists working with patients, which is already happening with some artists. Phase 3 is to have master classes for artists to work with one another in their own discipline. Whether I get involved in these or not is a question for another day. Meanwhile I will be up the garden smoking my old men.