I keep thinking about The Lemonheads song ‘Into Your Arms’ in relation to blog writing. Not that I consciously turned to my blog when I was ‘alone’ but retrospectively I realise it was a place I turned to as a kind of sanctuary, a place to focus my mind and firm up my own personal position on being an artist whenever things felt shaky.

Writing the last blog ‘Keeping It Together’ proved to be a positive distraction for me at the time I wrote it, helping to allay my tendency to over-think and analyse things during what was an emotionally turbulent time. I used the energy I’m prone to waste on fretting and over-worrying to concentrate on what really mattered – essentially, keeping it together.

While on the surface, writing it was about recording my feelings in relation to the loss of a studio to the finding of another, the blog actually provided me with so much more. The physical act of writing took up a lot of my time; I chose to take that time and allocated myself the hours and space in an otherwise hectic family life to be able to write it. It helped organise my thoughts and had a positive impact on helping me in an ongoing struggle to find a balance between home and studio life. It also helped me to connect with artist/bloggers on the same wave-length, socially and politically and to continue to stay visible within an art community at large – not just in London.

But, despite continuing to follow other artist’s blogs on Artists Talking, I haven’t connected half as much as I did when I was writing my own and consequently felt more a part of a supportive, interactive community. I’ve missed the camaraderie of it all; I was frequently in good company and felt less alone, feeling a real sense of solidarity at times between myself and some of the artists I was in contact with. I came to really value a place where a mutual exchange of supportive, constructive advice and debate could take place. And, as other people commented on ‘Keeping It Together’ and I realised that it was being read and that crucially for me, some people were able to relate to what I was saying, the blog became a place I wanted to keep going back to – ‘ into its arms.’

I’ve been in the new studio space for just over four months now and feel quite settled. But there’s a sense of loss with regards to the blog and I realise how much I’ve been missing it. I miss the psychological space it offered me – it was always ‘there’ as a support structure at the back of my mind, rather like the consultation room between therapy sessions – a safe haven, a place I knew ‘I could go.’

And so it feels like the right time to start another, one with no particular purpose or agenda in place – just simply the creation of a new space for myself in which to just ‘be.’ Somewhere I can dip in and out of, if and when the mood takes me – the material I work with in itself requires it, I think.

As I’ve said before, there’s a lot of history tied up in the boxes that are stored in my studio; quite a bit of my past is wrapped up in them and in order not to feel swamped by the associative memories of the stuff inside, being outward looking feels equally as important to me right now as quiet, introspective thinking.

I’d only just started the process of unpacking when I was forced to move studios. Now I’m settled once again and I’m curious – both about what I’m going to rediscover in those long-term stored boxes and how I might feel about what I do find. Curious, too about whether or not I’ll be able to sustain writing this at the same time as being creative in the studio? Can the two go hand in hand I wonder? Time will tell…

Meantime, to a new blog – Keeping It Going.