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Lockdown Listening with Ranald Macdonald

In an attempt to provide some relief during these uncertain times, shado has launched the Lockdown Listening series, where we will be releasing a weekly playlist in collaboration with some of our contributors and musicians, hearing about how they are coping and what they are currently listening to in lockdown.

Our first playlist has been created by Ranald Macdonald, an artist and musician, who recently featured in our Free, Safe, Legal, Local pro-choice t-shirt campaign. The playlist tells a story which we all know too well; one of isolation, boredom, sickness and hope. As you listen, note the song names for guidance.

photography by Inès Hachou @ines_hachou

During isolation in Oxford, Ranald has spent a lot of time pulling nettles from his mum’s garden, a surprisingly inspiring task of which he states: “when I try and visualise my making-process this experience comes to mind. The characters that populate the dreamlike world in my images are maybe like the nettles. They are found objects, readymades from art history, literature, and popular culture. I use them to lead me to my image, digging in the fog of childhood interactions with TV, film, and early digital media until I see a glimpse of what I am looking for and I can begin, with tentative steps, to excavate it. It is in this way they emerge, as pre-existing things, not designed in order to express an idea, but ideas, rendered in my work so they can be seen, unearthed.”

Ranald’s new project The Deep are releasing their debut EP this summer on B3 Sci Records and he is currently finishing his final year of Study at City And Guilds Of London Art School.

How have you been coping with lockdown?

Trying to keep a routine with work and be hopeful. Also not looking too much at pictures on my phone of pre-covid times.

What does an average day look like for you at the moment?

8:00 Get up – do stretches (some remembered from sports I did growing up- which I didn’t do much of, some made up)

8:15 Run for 20 minutes (I’ve only just started going on runs so hoping to increase this moving forward (no pun intended there))

9:00 Breakfast – normally involving a mix of cereals, currently: Shreddies, Alpen, and neat oats. I put the Shreddies at the bottom and work my way up to the oats as they seem to sink anyway – this makes for quite an even mix – which is what I’m after.

10:00 Try and do an hour of reading of something I find difficult in bed as its the only time of day I can take it in. Am currently reading Perspective As Symbolic Form by Erwin Panofsky and Staying With The Trouble by Donna Haraway.

11:00 Start work – at the moment this is working on songs and small scale paintings.

1:30 Lunch

2:30 More work

4:30 Stare into space

6:30 Say to whoever is nearest that I can’t believe how quickly the day has gone and how little I have done.

6:32 Double check that the time is really 6:32

7:30 Make calls/have a drink of wine or beer and help get dinner ready/eat crips if there are crisps (there usually aren’t any crisps).

8:30 Eat dinner

9:30 Watch current series – have just finished road to Calvary and now watching Killing Eve.


11:00 Read something less theory-based in bed – I’m reading Drive your Plow Over The Bones Of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk which is great.

11:30 Sleep

Has this been a creative time for you? If so, where are you drawing your inspiration from?

I think so, it’s hard to say. There’s definitely a lot of time to think. I’m lucky to be isolating with three artists who I love very much, my girlfriend, sister, and my sister’s boyfriend. Having them around definitely makes it easier emotionally and in terms of work.

What are you looking forward to most when this is over?

Going to the pub.

Listen to the full playlist here:

What is Settler Colonialism? The Revolution is in 808 What is Green Colonialism? The Black women in my life who bring me joy Exploring mixed musical heritage in collective healing and solidarity What occupying a University building taught me about life Turning waste into beauty Artist Spotlights As a survivor, I need TV to do better Dismantling green colonialism in the belly of the beast