after a rest during christmas of 2018, this blog holds the energy of my practice life and work during 2019.

2019 – a time for challenging my own perception of life and work, time to shake of mental shackles from previous years and to proudly put one foot in front of the other…

in reviewing 2018 i wrote

the energy i feel currently is one of a playful energy – not caring about what others think of what i’m doing.

 

 

i’m not quite at the point of fully being able to talk about what it was – all i can say is that it was something small that rapidly expanded and the existence of this continued to hamper my confidence for some years.

 

 

2019 – going for it.

 

 


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lately there has been something that i have experienced that has left me unhappy, demotivated and disappointed.

finding a way through this unhappy phase came in an unexpected way this morning – poetry.

composing it out loud in the kitchen and then tweeting it had a huge positive impact upon the way i felt about the situation and life itself.

the shift was huge.

the improvement immediate.

the effect lasted all day.

 

 

 

 

 


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once a month i circle up with other men.  the circle is a supportive place to speak, share and listen.  what happens in the circle is kept in the circle, however i can speak of my experience.

i experienced language that i hope can help me going forward.  i experienced listening to the notion of intellect and embodied and there being distinct differences.

most concerning was my experience of the recently happening climate change activities.  by this i’m referring to experiencing how recent events are having an influence.

i’m starting to hear again things i heard ten years ago while as an undergraduate i considered the notion of peak oil and a response to this.  what i made was shown at quad in derby.

ten years on there is a new audience for the age of stupid.

in those 10 years a lot has been done and achieved, what might be possible to achieve in the the next 10 ?

what new work might i go onto make ?

 

 


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the kettle is on in the kitchen while i day dream out the living room window.  the lads from next door are leaning against their fence, billows of smoke surround them from their vaping.  i leave the writing for a moment to create a pot of tea.

returning with a cup of tea and feeling satisfied by a sandwich i start to convene the many thoughts of the last few days into something i hope that will  have a semblance of sense.

 

 

the concept of respect has been within my thinking a lot lately.  from how the japanese celebrate the cherry blossom through to the many thousands of finishers of the recent london marathon.

this year the marathon took on a new emotional dimension for me, my partner was a runner of the marathon.

a wave of emotional energy breaks upon me and i pause for some of the tea.

too hot to drink i return to the flow of capturing where i am at the end of april.  i’ve been thinking a lot lately about how i feel and how i think.  how i influence how i feel via how i think about myself and the world around me.

there’s an awareness of how i use regularly reoccurring actions to ground me, for example the weekly tracking of our household energy usage.  through the data collection i’m able to share with the family how our energy consumption compares to this time last year.  we can also see how the outside temperature affects the use of gas.  things we might take for granted.

 

 

 

the mainstream is once again full of the climate change conundrum.  it’s no longer a shock for me because i can remember previous rounds of the conundrum being given high visibility within the mainstream.  the conundrum is fuelled by choice presented through economics.  this morning while out with the dog i mused about how might choice be slowly evolved so that there is no choice for the mainstream in how the conundrum is answered ?  does one need to make a choice while it is still there to be made?  how might the reaction go when choice is no longer an option and there is a force to do something ?  maybe the conundrum is to remain simply that.

 

i revisit my tea.

 

 

this morning i’ve been revisiting the weekend and specifically sunday.  my partner was running the london marathon.

neither of us are particularly good in large crowds in urban settings.   having said that with the purpose of the marathon in mind the journeys out to blackheath on the sunday and the running show at excel on the saturday were ok.  we were both part of something that many many people around us were also part of.

saturday wasn’t a particularly good day for me at a personal level.  on the train down to london i had experienced part of a tooth coming away.

i sit in this moment feeling very emotional as teeth care is a huge trigger for me.  while i was young and i’m talking less than 10 years old here i experienced a visit to a dentist that i can still visualise in three parts.  these are waking up in the dentist chair with multiple faces looking down upon me and my vision moving.  second part is the leaning over a huge white sink with blood pouring out of my mouth.

the last part is back at home in the kitchen and opening the back door to go outside.  when the fresh air hit me it caused a return to the nausea and spinning i experienced in the first part of this description.

at some point the broken tooth needs to be remedied in some way.  right now i don’t have anything like the emotional strength to face doing anything about it.

 

 

my partner ran the marathon.  the thought of it right now makes me cry.  she asked me to go to london with her, to both enjoy the weekend away with her but to also be there for her.

in the weeks and days leading up to the start her taking part was impacting upon my emotional state.

my release of this came as i waited for her at the 8 mile marker.  just thinking about what to say to her brought about tears.

i needed so say nothing, my presence at the 8 mile mark being enough.

 

 

i have to admit after that 8 mile exchange i was into new unexplored territory.  the question of what was i going to do during the marathon had been asked of me several times in the week leading up to the event.

a chance meeting with the site manager from the silk mill and his wife in the running show helped me to form a plan.  he has run the marathon many times and his wife has both been a runner and a spectator.  her advise was to go to the 8 and 18 mile points.  she warned of crowds at tower bridge.

making my way from blackheath to mile 8 i overheard a conversation about avoiding the dlr during the event.  advice that i would find very useful later.

so after mile 8 i was very much into the unknown.

looking after my own needs before moving required me to find a comfort stop and something to eat.  the queue at surrey quay station was across the road so taking my time seemed to be ok.

as i finished off my food a text arrived from chris asking me if i had any paracetamol.  i knew she had some in her bag at the collection point.  her research had shown that the taking of pain killers would be of great benefit after the race.  her text alerted me to her pain and her need prior to mile 18.

my afternoon took on a new direction, something very deep and prime kicked in.  i sensed purpose and adventure.

 

 

 

from the footage i got on sunday i sense there’s a video work waiting to happen and as such i’m going to hold back on an emotional outpouring here about how the afternoon panned out.

planning this work is potentially helping me through a block i’ve been experiencing with the silk mill commission.   it’s felt very solitary.

 

 

 


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after my clearing post yesterday we headed out into the bright warm day and south to alnwick.  now famous for the home of hogwarts, our destination was another famous place – barter books.

 

 

having written up how i was in the morning, by midday i was starting to feel centred again.  in barter books with the dog in tow and the family lost to the countless bookshelves, i was happy to wander and lose myself.

little did i expect a book to jump off a shelf at me.  i say jump off the shelf – actually i stopped at a bookshelf and the title lit up my curiosity.
en attendant godot.
we’d been to see the stewart / mckellan production of godot as becket’s writing is something that i’ve previously been drawn to.

in that moment in the book shop, after my morning of feeling a bit lost and lonely, i took the standing looking at an old friend as one of those things that was meant to be.

 

i made it so.

 

 

 

i’ve watched my partner re establish connection with books as part of her ma process.  being around her as she goes through researching, writing  and making discoveries has reminded me of my loose plan as a teenager – i’ve written about this sometime in the past.

 

being around an ma process has got me asking about my own connection with the written word and how might this help me in progressing my own thinking and work.  this at least being my perception.

this book i now have presents a challenge to me – how might i read it and glean from what i read ?  this is not something that comes easily to me.

 

 

for our penultimate night dinner we gave into our – i gave into my – need for chips.  oh my disappointment with the chip shop in belford, it uses beef dripping to fry the food.  i was too far down the rabbit hole when i noticed the words on the front door telling of the dripping.  i was to spend the rest of the evening with that fatty thing that happens around ones tongue after chips – do you know that feeling ?

 

back at the cottage the owners invited us to their thursday night fire.

as much as i enjoyed being around the fire it did get intense once the sun had disappeared behind the oak tree.

 

my challenge post holiday is to take up reading the book i bought yesterday – i reserve the right to do this in a non linear manner and give myself the space and time to continue exploring how might i use the 360 camera in my own work, as well as the current commission.

 

i’ll leave you with a image from the small hours of the morning.

 

 

happy good friday to you.


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Despite being on holiday I find myself needing to come to this place and reflect upon my attempts to play this week.  We’re in northumberland staying in a remote location where the wifi is intermittent.  I’ve brought the 360 camera to play with and research what it’s like to use and create with it.

I’ve woken up this morning and it feels like my research has rather crashed and burned.

Why do I feel like this ?

I feel like this because seeing how to progress from the playing for the sake of it to something with meaning is not with me right now.  Because I don’t see it – I’ve walked myself into a dark place with the silk mill commission.  These two things are totally different and the only thing that connects them is my practice.

I take a moment to step back, look out the window and watch the owner’s dog Timmy sitting in the sun.  He quickly gets up and leaves me looking at a bright April morning,

The weather earlier this week has been quite grey.

I look out the window again.  Why am I inside trying to work out my I feel unhappy when there is a beautiful day waiting to be explored?  Our remote location might be a little too remote.  We’ve all learnt something this week.

In writing this I’m connecting with a tiredness.  We walked a long way yesterday and had wine last night.  I generally have this back of hand to forehead “I can’t do this” or “this is all crap” when I’m tired.  note to self – make the image for future quick recognition of the situation.

I sip some tea and sit for a moment.

The feeling of wanting to do something and being frustrated that I fall short is a reasonable description of the manner in which the dyslexia affects me.  I often contemplate making work to help others understand this – it as yet is slow to be made.

Along with the dyslexia I think this morning I’ve described how my mental health can be compromised.  It’s low level compromise and will pass.

Something else this week I’ve been reflecting about is level playing fields – for want of a better phrase.  When I come to a holiday cottage  it’s a chance to have a week of level ness.  With he owners living on site and going about their thing, I’ve come across at least one situation where the level ness was stacked in their favour – use of an outdoor space that in fairness we did get to experience after a short while.

I sip more tea.

I often have to accept that the effort I would want to put into making something I actually need to put into making myself feel ok.  What I might have done today is needing to be put off until tomorrow.  I was often teased about being slow while at secondary school.

i often feel alone.

 


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