Over a week in, and the vast space has been shape-shifting and swallowing all and any work I make. My residency goals have been revised three times already, because I’m frankly so overwhelmed by the open-ended possibilities of this month that my mind is going non-stop even though I’m telling myself the priority is to make and experiment, not think.
My current self-imposed rules are
- Follow every whim to try out new materials or ideas
- maintain openness and receptivity to every artistic possibility
- avoid comfort zones at all cost
The only problem with such a loose set of objectives is that I feel I’m dropping into dilettante mode. Last week, I was clear in my mind that I wanted to “exploit the recent freedom of my non-objective painting in more figurative work”. I would forget about conceptualising and seeking to understand, and would just focus on the human form as the paradigmatic mode of human expression. But painting figures non-stop has inexorably led me back to underlying concerns about society in general, and suddenly I’m back in the narrative pond feeling I’m about to drown.
And I’m overcome by a desire to model: puppet figures, a bas relief and the early stages of a papier mâché figure are strewn amidst the painting materials. I’m flitting across the vast floor area with so many projects on the go that I frequently end up on the other side resuming the making of something I hadn’t planned to do when I set off 10 seconds earlier.
I literally have no idea from one hour to the next where things are going.
But on the upside, there’s a lot of work emerging, and still 2 1/2 weeks to make something of it.