I’ve been feeling physically quite unwell. Easter’s been and gone and I hardly noticed. A viral infection – probably flu – completely wiped me out. I’m slowly recovering, but on top of all that, I’ve been undergoing some pretty invasive treatment on my right ear as a result of a deep-seated infection – all too close to the brain for my liking, adding to a general sense of feeling physically rundown.
This spell of ill-health has come pretty much on the back of the massive studio move – a much more exhausting process than perhaps, I’ve allowed myself to acknowledge. The move marked a significant change for me and I’m still thinking about the impact of it – being away from familiar territory and no longer having my things around me; how this change might affect the work I make in the immediate future.
I’ve managed to secure a new place to work – it’s tiny, but cheap & manageable. The space means I’ll be working in a completely new way, no longer surrounded by my collections – there simply isn’t enough room.
After three years of being in an open plan studio, I’m looking forward to being back in an enclosed, private space – alone with my work and thoughts again and having a choice about who comes into my working environment. I’m certainly looking forward to taking things a bit more slowly in terms of producing and completing my work, trusting my intuition about when a piece of work is finished and ready to be ‘out there.’ Somehow, I got into a habit of working at a pace that really didn’t suit me – too fast and rushed. To the point that I found myself deleting images I’d posted on Facebook recently, realising retrospectively that I was hurrying work along and not giving it the time or space I felt it deserved.
Such issues I daresay, will be the sort I’ll continue to write about here, as the door on a new working space opens and new experiences unfold.
But first things first: for now, it’s all about getting back to being physically fit, conscious as always that the decision I made to stop working full-time means I’m fortunate – fortunate to be able to make choices about taking things a bit easier; no boss breathing down the back of my neck demanding when I’ll be fit enough to return to work.
Quiet down times like this offer a real opportunity for reflection and a chance to take a stand back from recent output; to catch up on all those things I fantasise about doing when life is so busy – reading, researching and organising. I have suitcases full of newspaper & magazine cuttings for collage at my feet as I write. I’ve been dying to get my hands on them for ages so that I can start organising the scraps of paper and other paraphernalia I’ve held onto all these years. I’m currently working on the Nana’s Colours series but packing up from the last studio made me aware of how much ‘not quite finished’ work I have. I’d like to address this – and of course, start the process of cataloging what’s in those 100+ 30 litre boxes. Now that the better weather’s here and I’m starting to feel better …