Cornwall LivingIssue #113

Hues of the heart

We speak to Steve Slimm about his transformation of reality through artistic creativity, and his personal emergence through the pandemic. 

We’ve all felt the effect of the Coronavirus pandemic since it began in 2020, and I think it’s safe to say that no one’s life has been untouched. Artist Steve Slimm is no exception, and as we begin to return to a relative normality we thought we’d take this opportunity to find out a bit more about the impact Covid-19 has had on Steve’s transcendental creativity here in Cornwall.

“For me as a painter, inspiration drained away like precious lifeblood after the first lockdown in 2020. My studio became like a morgue, and all I could do for that period was make dark foreboding music – which somehow carried my creativity through,” explains Steve. Unfortunately, this summer Steve became ill with the virus: “Interestingly, surrendering to a debilitating condition proved exactly the kind of salvation I’d sought – a way out of fearful expectation. What I’d feared, happened – and it was all okay. And finally, my creativity was released to again paint with courage.”

While Steve was able to turn to music in darker times, his emergence through the worst of it brought him back to the craft he’d surrendered, and Cornwall was exactly the place to inspire him: “For me, the act of painting begins with the distilled purity of an open, fearless heart. Music can express darkness, when necessary, but visually I need light. I thrive on light, and the way it bounces off our granite peninsula all the way up to Dartmoor; and how it echoes around coastal waters and back to earth from low western skies.”

To celebrate his re-emergence out of fear, after 15 years in his current studio, Steve has installed a road-side sign – ‘Deep In The Heart Art Studio’. “It feels an appropriate time to stop hiding away in my cave, and start to invite passers-by in to share the experience of a sublime ancient connection with the land and its mysteries.”

Over the past 18 months life has presented its challenges, but Steve believes there is hope and creativity to be found for anyone: “It is my conviction that humanity stands on the brink of a creative quantum leap into the unknown. And here I am, coming through unscathed and thankful – looking toward whatever is next.”