This blog will drift between the development of a new podcast supported by a-n, and my life as a new mother. Not really making barriers between the production of the podcast (my practice) and life, the blog intends to messily enjoy the all encompassing world that exists around the context of work production.

The podcast (currently titled Inside Someone Else’s Head) is an extension of my current practice that uses interview as a start point to develop new works that are often performance installations or film. By publishing the interviews the material will act as a public archive that gives multiple access points to my practice, and more importantly the many voices and stories that inform it.

The project intentionally coincides with taking maternity leave and discovering a new working relationship with my practice / lifestyle.

www.amelia-hawk.com


0 Comments

5 months has passed between the first blog post and this one, its an enormous amount of time and the project is progressing at snails pace. Its not for lack of attempting to work, and there has been a lot of cognitive labour behind the scenes, but the physical manifestation of the project has yet to materialise. It appears (not too unexpectedly) that being a mother really does take pretty much all your time! It’s only now that my son is taking longer naps that I can finally find some time to work. After meeting another artist friend recently who said “all the bits of work I would never have counted as my practice before, work at the kitchen table, small bits here and there, they really count now”, I completely agree.

After realising the physically reality of attending an interview training course in London was out of reach I began researching local courses in Birmingham. In the depths of the internet I discovered an online course hosted by the Anderson School of Journalism in America with course tutors from all around the world including BCU (Birmingham City University). I am some what sceptical that the online course will be as informative as a person to person course, but I have realised the need to be adaptive and have bought the course. I now wait with baited breath to find a solid chunk of time to get stuck in.

I’ve also made a list of possible people to interview for the podcast, with back-ups (I’m sure I will be turned down a fair few times), and begun looking into buying the right equipment.

[pause, play, reset]

I would really like to interview my mother for the first podcast, it seems like the right place to start. She has suffered with bipolar (manic depression) ever since I have known her, which recently was re-diagnosed as schizoaffective disorder. I believe the re-diagnosis comes with more knowledge around certain mental health illnesses, and the shift towards wider awareness. I’ve already interviewed her for research earlier in the year but I’m unsure if she would agree to, or be confident enough to record a podcast. The interview would be a conversation around the changing framing of mental health and how it has impacted her over the years.

During the coming weeks I will attempt to send out a flurry of emails to get the podcast started and start getting equipment and web addresses (or at least that’s the plan).


0 Comments

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.

 

 


0 Comments