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Jo’s Journal – July 2021

Posted: by Jo Monday, 28 June 2021 @ 11:44

June may not have been quite the month we had all hoped, with the end of all restrictions delayed by a few more weeks. But it feels better to take the time now to get it right, as we seem so close to the finish line.  

For me, July is about holiday – a planned 2-week trip to California changed to two weeks in the Lake District. Not quite the same, but I am sure we’ll have a lot of fun! So, no Yosemite, Napa Valley, Carmel-by-the-Sea or Alcatraz for me; instead, Coniston Old Man, Helvellyn, and kayaking on Ullswater. Although, with a torn calf muscle currently - I'm not sure how much hill-walking I'll be doing! 

June included some wonderful highlights. Fire pit evenings with friends; the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy; lunch at a favourite Italian in Mayfair; dinner under canvas in Bristol with a good friend. Getting back to socialising with others - almost as if nothing had changed! 

Jo Stroud at Lake District

The Hockney exhibition was amazing – celebrating the arrival of Spring in Normandy, captured in vivid colour on his iPad. It’s the first time I have seen a whole iPad exhibition, and what impressed me most is David Hockney’s unwillingness to stand still. At 83 years’ old, he is still experimenting with contemporary formats and learning new skills. Incredibly admirable.  

jo's journal july 2021

Fascinatingly, his work has also raised questions among critics about whether iPad drawings qualify as art. Hockney has long been interested in the technology of art and using new media to make art – I well remember seeing a Hockney exhibition when I was at school, made up of collages of polaroid photos – so this is nothing new. In fact, he wrote a book about evidence that the old masters used devices like a camera lucida; and he has himself used photocopiers and fax machines to create art. Drawing on his iPad is simply an extension of his fascination with technology and how it can play a part in the creative process.

Here at Mantra, we have also been busy. First of all, the launch of our latest collaboration, with business and mindset coach, Samantha Hearne. Such an exciting collaboration, with a woman who is a beacon of energy and positivity. 

mantra x samantha hearne samantha hearne mantra collaboration

Also, the launch of our Summer '21 collection, with the Wave, Sunflower and Crescent Moon designs currently proving the most popular with you all. It's a collection inspired by coming out the other side of the pandemic, and the lessons we all learned - so do take a look at the whole collection here

Our Charity of the Month this month is Trees for Cities, and I was delighted to interview Rory, their Corporate Partnerships Director. I enjoyed finding out more about his personal background and motivations. In this most challenging of years, it has been good to understand what his key challenges have been, as we start to get through the pandemic.  

Breathe Necklace Inspiration

So – Freedom Day didn’t come on 21st June as we’d hoped. But it's on the way in July - we hope! - and June was still a lovely month, in so many ways. I hope you all have a wonderful July!

Jo xx

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