My plan for the blog is to start it fully once my child is born, it seems like part of this project is to navigate an art practice with a child and see how the two can coincide. The following post I wrote roughly a month ago, before going on maternity leave. It was a one off moment of distress but an honest one, and one in which I think should start the blog:
Written somewhere in March 2019
I had planned to introduce this blog in a much more sober attempt to sum up a project, and perhaps with a level head on, but why not jump in the emotional deep end, somewhere murky where the project kind of begins.
Its 6.30am on a Sunday morning, the main day of the week when you are supposed to have a lie in, but I am irrationally awake and sobbing. Hormones are clearly covering my body head to toe and I have an immense pain in my back undoubtedly caused by the growing life at the front of my body. After tossing and turning for hours in bed the dog finally made her way onto ours, the only safe space where I can stretch, wriggle and keep my partner awake for hours, but this little intrusion has clearly caused the outpouring of an emotional waterfall to erupt and I end up lying in bed sobbing.
I’m very clearly not sobbing simply because I am in pain, I am, but there is much more to it. I am in equal measure excited and scared about being a mother, and this new fear has only just started making its presence known. Sensibly I have planned 9 months maternity leave from my paid work and also from my practice, its time that I have been telling myself will be useful for reflection, and necessary for bringing up a child. The only problem is it scares me, what happens to my practice now, can I still be an artist, will I have time to go to the studio, will my partner support me to go to the studio, can I afford the studio when I return to work, what will other people think about working with a new mother is it easier to work with someone child free, can I take my child to the studio and get work done? During this time I have also sublet my studio to two artists I know will take great care over it and get a lot of use out of it, but I already feel the control over my own work and way of working slipping away and it scares the shit out of me.
I have the words of someone I respect rattling around in my head that having a child can take three years out of someone’s practice. If people are already righting me off for three years, how on earth will I get my practice back on track again? I am hoping the trick is not to stop, in my mind I have a great plan to have a couple of small scale, manageable, projects on the go that will allow me to carry on my practice whilst on maternity leave. I hope this becomes achievable. One of these projects has been kindly supported by an a-n bursary and will extend part of my existing practice. This blog will not contain its self to the work but will spread messily between life and practice, not shying away from being human as much as it is about artwork, because for me the two intersect and I’m not remotely interested in separating them.