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By: Rebecca Strain

It has seveal meanings some of which being:
a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism or an interconnecting network
in Geology; a major range of strata that corresponds to a period in time
in Astronomy; a group of celestial objects connected by their mutual attractive forces


click to expand/collapse 

'take my time'. for The Big Collab

'take my time'. for The Big Collab

# 19 [19 January 2011]

Spend today getting ready for the Big Collab in Bournemouth today.  Deconstructed my 2011 diary for use as business cards.

Got a call from Louise Atkinson about the show she's curating in Leeds during the artists book fair this year.  Discussed some ideas and have a starting point must got to get onto it ASAP because it's in March.

That's all, no conscious thinking.

Rebecca Strain, 'I'm Sorry', photography, 2008. Photo: Rebecca Strain. From a residency at 42 New Briggate

Rebecca Strain, 'I'm Sorry', photography, 2008. Photo: Rebecca Strain. From a residency at 42 New Briggate

# 18 [18 January 2011]

Back to uni today- assessment presentations.  But not for me I was observing and then doing my utmost to get some money for food.

 First off was a year 2 part time student (me this time next year) researching skin.  I wasn't tuned in to be honest until the work was unveiled.  Delicate drawings in pencil and watercolour of bellies and armpits.  Edible, delicious and then the display in the dark with just a spotlight - intimate and dramatic. 

Full-time was next- so much text and folders and explaination about explainations and filing and organising and then a film that made us cringe then paintings without a hint of ability in the use of the medium and finally the climax a digital print that said everything- I wish they had have just shown us that we had been let sit there for 30minutes taking it in.  Would it have been as awesome without the lengthy and tedious stroll around the mind?

And so on it went inspiring and difficult, awesome and awkward.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Carl Jung

Then to the Job Centre. After 2 hours of explainations and proving and promising and signing I found that I was entitled to nothing.  So the rest of the day has been spent looking for meanial, unskilled, minumum wage part time employment.  I need a break - please world give me a chance and I can show you what I am capable of and it will blow your mind and mine.

# 17 [17 January 2011]

Cleared out the storage room but didn't like it in the end.  Art's hard!

# 16 [16 January 2011]

Spent most of today looking for jobs and ways to create some kind of income.  Even resorted to selling drawings on ebay. 

There's a few interesting art opportunities I in the midst of applying for.  If I could get even one of those I'd be laughing.

No idea how I will pay my course fees, going to job center on Tuesday to sign on hopefully.

# 15 [15 January 2011]

Yesterday's productivity obviously took it out of me.  I didn't wake up til 1 today and that's only because I was called for lunch.

I was planning to empty that room to install work and photograph but instead I just lay around and finished the book on workplace bullying at art colleges.

Hoping tomorrow is a better day.

# 14 [14 January 2011]

A struggle to begin with but eventually I pulled myself into a reasonably vertical position in order to face the day.

My tutor was off sick but was kind enough to set me up with Sharon.  I wondered about not bothering.  What was the point and now I was running late I'd have to explain myself so someone who was doing there best to fill in in Lisa's absence.

I made the bus and the tutorial.  Sharon wasn't insulted by the fact I was half an hour late, or if she was she didn't show it.  In reaction to my work she was pretty positive and suggested i move on to installing it is a relevant space or creating a relevant space to install it.

I saw Shiro in the library.  I didn't chat, he's full time and they have to hand in their work from phase one next week.  I wrote a bit, chose some images, tackled the photocopier then left for my studio.

There was much to be jolly about at the studio all were in high spirits and the flow of artists continued until there were five of us discussing a week of performances possibly branching out to the local pub.

When the high jinks settled I went off o my space to tidy again.  Steve had some music on so I took some photographs of the Von Bochs.  I wanted to use up the roll so I can get it developed and see what I have.  It's expensive but very fun. 

When I snapped a whole roll of 36 and made a 1 minute film on the Flip Steve peeped out from behind his canvas.  'You're more high art aren't you?  I'm happy being low art, then I don't have to explain myself.'

This induced a lengthy conversation about whether it was important to 'get it' and whether justifying your work meant justifying yourself and was that right? Is it right to have to justify yourself to the world?  Is it just a kind of narcissism?  Isn't all art narcissistic in some way? Am I not doing it for me?  To be more than a passing grain of sand to exist beyond just my body to widen my mind and then is it me or the world that requires me to share this?


what would you do?

# 13 [12 January 2011]

Today I did some high level thinking whilst remaining horizonal.  At the moment food is a luxury so by staying in bed for as long as possible I've only had one meal today and not paid out any money for buses or used up any other resourses.

Tomorrow I will be out and about, sending off applications, visiting the job center, going to counselling and making the decision not to continue with university in favour of having a roof over my head and food in my belly.

# 12 [11 January 2011]

I got back yesterday after 24hours of travel, got a quick shower then headed to my studio.  It was a mess.  The works hanging from the ceiling were now on the floor in piles.  I started work on reassembling them.

I've been reading Lucy Lippards book on Eva Hesse.  When she struggled with work she made drawings so I tried to see if that would work for me.  I'm struggling with the hundreds of ideas for work that are in my head that I don't have the time or resources to make.

I had a chat with Melody about doing a week of performance in February - the space is there so now there's nothing to stop me.  Steve Randall who's studio is opposite mine thinks I'm flogging a dead horse trying to make anything happening in Poole.

Still I can't not do anything.  maybe nobody will see it but i'll have done it and maybe if I document it well then this exist outside the non- audience that is Poole.

Anyway this one of the drawings I did.  Steve reckons I should believe in myself more.  He says my work is very interesting and should be in London.  Hello london - I'm here working hard!

# 11 [6 January 2011]

For a week I have been mainly horizontal on a diet of paracetamol and hot 7Up, but now I'm back ready to take on 2011.

A few things to work on first - my library books which are due back in England - I'm still in Donegal, I have no source of income and my fees are due as well as the rent for my studio and I haven't really tackled this study plan for my MA as yet.

Before I left I was working on ideas about the Von Bochs and what they symbolise but I have a feeling that could just be another sideline project.  I like sideline projects though- you never know when they will come in handy.  Louise Atkinson is curating a show in Leeds for the book fair so I think I might allow myself to get sidetracked by that also.

This paper stuff I've been doing with the plans - that stuff I need to get into shape and by end of Feb. I'm hoping to run some workshops at my studio so I'll need to research those.  Also Jonathan is talking about running a gallery space so I will did out those contacts from Duncan Kerr and see if anyone can shed any light on the situation.

As for the MA, finish this sketch book I'm on and move on.  The time of gathering and pondering is closing in and I feel I must begin to plant seed for growth in the spring. 

# 10 [30 December 2010]

The baby's head got soaked the night/morning of 28/29th so yesterday was spend making stew and watching Mary Poppins.

No art today either because I was assigned a two year old boy, pork to be stuffed and rolled, a chicken and a leg of lamb to be roasted.

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Rebecca Strain

student of Fine Art