‘Keeping It Moving’ the blog I wrote while making the short film with Henrietta Thomas, was very much about recording the process & final outcome of a specific piece of work. It was created for the sole purpose of documenting the making of ‘I Always Wanted To Be …’ and was a very different experience from writing this one. I didn’t find the more formulaic way of writing – kind of diary style – half as enjoyable, it has to be said. This got me thinking about blog writing in general – and then, specifically, what writing this blog, ‘Keeping It Going’ means to me now, five years on. What purpose does it serve? Is it useful? Still?
The main premise behind ‘Keeping It Going’ was about discovering whether I could manage to maintain it at the same time as being creative in the studio. After five years of maintaining both, I’ve answered that question, I think. What’s happened is that writing the blog has become an integral part of my creative process and has gone hand in hand with producing work. But big changes have taken place since I first started writing it and I’m thinking it’s time for a change in the way I approach things.
Last year felt momentous for me in terms of getting my collections pretty much in one place for the first time in some 20/30 years. 100+ boxes of ‘treasures’ from my past, though labelled and in some sort of order, still need sifting through and editing. I’m eager to get a more thorough grip on what’s where – to reacquaint myself with the many objects that form much of the raw materials for the work I make.
And that’s the crux of it all for me, really – that I’d like to get away from this feeling of going round and round in circles, repeating myself in my writing here – largely about how much I’d like to get the stuff I’ve collected over the years, finally organised. There are only so many times you can write that! This blog is full of such sentiments – a sharp reminder that it’s probably time to stop writing about what I want to do and just get on with doing it!
At the end of last week, while in the process of applying for an exhibition opportunity, I realised that I had included images of a few pieces of work on my blog and yet don’t have a record of them anywhere else. I’d forgotten about a couple of pieces, in fact! I’d like to address this and get my work properly documented, including improved images. I’ve been thinking about it since the start of the year and my plan is to free up more time by taking a break from writing this blog. I’m not very good at just leaving things to peter out, I’ve realised and in this respect, prefer to take some properly defined time out. I’m not declaring this blog completely redundant but for now, it feels important to step back a bit and release time to get on with the things I never seem to find the time to do.
Another more recent development is that I now have a really inspiring place to bring my ‘treasures’ back to, having secured myself a new improved studio space at the end of 2016. I can imagine myself continuing to work much more effectively in this lighter, more spacious environment and given that artists’ studios can be such precarious entities, I want to take full advantage of using it as much as I possibly can – a) while I can afford it (just!) and b) while it’s still there!
I’ll probably want to report back at some point – keen to share images of the many ready-made materials and objects as I uncover them from the 100+ storage boxes, photographing & documenting them along the way. It’s hard to imagine that I won’t, in fact! Having become so accustomed to sharing every new piece of developing work over the past five years, it’s going to be a hard habit to break. But for now, even if on a temporary basis, it feels that this blog has run its course. Perhaps I might start a photo blog? Allow images of the assorted objects to stand alone? This would fit well with my recent thinking about how I’d like to make work without necessarily writing about it or revealing any associated narrative. But that’s a whole other blog post, I think – a discussion for another time, perhaps – in a new blog, sometime in the not too distant future? Who knows!
What I do know though, is that every creative practice needs a shake up now and again – to prevent it from becoming stale and stagnated. I’m looking forward to this new phase – a new beginning and a fresh approach. ‘A change is as good as a rest’ as the adage goes. Well, that’s my hope, anyway …