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I took the last piece of art work down from my studio wall on Thursday. Moving out has been a major undertaking – much greater than I’d imagined – and there have been many times over the past few weeks when I’ve felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of stuff I’ve needed to shift. Friday at 2pm was the deadline for having the studio emptied and left in a good state for the next artist; today I returned the key fob to head office and have now completely signed off from a studio that I’d rented for three years.

Leaving my studio this time round feels very different and is a million miles away from my last experience. That move was a complete emotional upheaval – abrupt & sudden, with only 48 hours notice given. Alongside a small group of artists, we had no choice but to simply react. We had decided to make a stand against rent increases imposed by the landlord and we lost. It was that loss that got me first started on writing a blog here – Keeping It Together.

This time round, moving feels significantly different – namely because this move is about making a personal choice to leave. I’ve had more time to prepare and consequently feel more in control of the situation. That’s not to say that I haven’t felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have, but at least I’ve had the chance to properly acknowledge the sheer volume of what I own.

It’s been an exhausting process, but a positive one nonetheless. I’m amazed that I’ve managed to fill one hundred 35 litre boxes. It’s the first time since coming back from living in the States that my possessions have been in one place at the same time. I’m going back 26 years – I left Ithaca, New York in 1989!

My sister’s house sale fell through right at the very last minute and ‘that’ garage I’ve been writing about and hoping for since last February is no longer at my disposal. For now, I feel really lucky to have the tremendous support of a friend who has loaned me space in hers.

Moving has taken up pretty much all of my spare time over the past couple of weeks. Being involved in creative work has been low on the agenda and as usual, I’ve had that uneasy feeling I get whenever I’m not actively making work. This will all be rectified tomorrow when I’ve carved out some time for continuing to work on the carefully preserved pieces from my studio wall, currently laying on my bedroom floor. I’m itching to get back to this new body of work on the theme of domesticity – centred around repression and restriction.

On which note, I’m really pleased to have had one of my pieces of work selected for Disturbance, a show featuring some amazing artists whose work I love, curated and organised by Paula McArthur and Wendy Saunders. The piece, Sweet Nothings, features 21 gagged ceramic female figurines. I’m looking forward to talking about the work more as the show progresses.

Details of the show are here: http://www.atomgallery.co.uk/exhibitions/disturbance.html