I finished making the performance box for the Surface Gallery last week so I can now spend time this week working on the new things that I have been exploring on and off in between my sewing. Well, saying that I have to sit at home tomorrow morning waiting to have my windscreen replaced. Car’s do have a tendency to give out little surprises when you least expect it. Thanks little fiesta! So I will have to get on with admin things for a few hours (always plenty to do in that area).
Last week we had a Trustees meeting and Jo presented our new DAT website. That should be online very shortly. It was a fairly positive meeting with lots of people turning out. We will hopefully have a new Trustee soon, an artist who also works for the University who came along as an observer, with the possibility of getting involved. This could be really beneficial to the progress of the DAT and bringing it a bit more up to date. Many of our current trustees are to say the least ‘getting on a bit’ and don’t seem to have the innovation to help us develop the reputation of the Trust as a dynamic and progressive group dealing with current debates in the contemporary art world. After discussing with a few other Fellows, most feel this new Trustee would be a positive move, but there is a deal of wariness of getting too closely linked with the University and not maintaining the Trust’s independence. I do believe there are real benefits and negatives to strong links with University of Hertfordshire but I’m sure a balance can be met. After all most of us are past graduates of the University and therefore will always be linked to it.
Next Sunday I’m travelling up to Nottingham to deliver my performance…house, box, thing. (I never really know what to call it, suggestions on a postcard please?!)
Excitement, fear, anxiety – all building. They have put up the information on their website now. Seeing it there in black and white with a date and a time made me clench up and want to skip and dance (what is that all about?!)
I have been rotating around the studio from one task to another. I have been balancing my time between, building my performance tent for the Surface Gallery opening and working on new ideas and drawings. It’s a weird leap back and forwards from the remaking of something older and moving on to new unchartered territory. There is always that excitement of playing with new ideas but always more uncertainty and doubt. I can go from feeling elated that something seems to be igniting a spark, then a sudden drop down in to a low when it seems to do a U-turn and turn on me. There is much safety in making the tried and tested, which allows a little moment of emotional calm. I’m pleased to have a bit of both going on.
Aside from this, in the back of my mind is the rearing up of financial worry. My hours at work have been cut and it looks like drastic change is on the horizon. I’m clocking up the sums in my mind and they don’t seem to add up. (Hopefully that’s just my bad Maths!). Whatever, this extra worry is really distracting and unnerving. The balance between working and art has been working out so far, I guess this set up is just too good to last. I may just have to muddle my way through for a while and hope things even out eventually.
I was so relieved to be back in the studio last week. After about 2 weeks off doing Christmas stuff, it was wonderful to just get back to the normal routine. I feel I have many things to sort out at the moment. I have got to make decisions and organise and for some reason I’m finding that really difficult. I have built January up to be a month of change and focus but now it’s here I just seem to be trundling along getting things done just as slowly as always and avoiding the main issues.
I have been spending today repainting and refreshing the frame for my performance house. This slow and monotonous job is one that really seems to suit my mood right now. Wielding the paint brush around, splattering myself and my shoes with white paint, I kind of wondered away in my mind, following little day dreamy paths, reflecting and pondering.
Where am I at and where am I going? I am constantly shuffling and reshuffling my thoughts, the usual thoughts. I have just finished reading the book by Phillippe Petit ‘To Reach the Clouds’ about his coup to wire walk between the twin towers in the 70s. It is such a powerful tale, I can’t help but to feel affected by it and by him. I think about the things we do, the efforts made, for seemingly pointless feats. To stretch our human restraints, to feel connected to the world, to see a challenge out of being alive and to focus all fibre of self to that challenge. A need to experience but more importantly be experienced by others, inspires a man to over come all natural instincts. It is encouragement just to read it, all these years later and be able to feel no uncertainty to its value today, to what a gift it is feeling that it is the closest to being human you can get. I never would have thought the tale of a wire walker in the 70s could feel so relevant and precious to me. It is so wonderful to hear something that rings your head like a bell. I thoroughly recommend a read (or watch, as it is also a film)!
Anyway, in reality of today, I must get back to my jobs…. I must complete my house and I must keep those wheels turning.(Wire walker just kept a shadow in the back of my mind)
I had hoped for Christmas to be refreshing time out and a chance to recharge my batteries, but instead it was mainly consumed by various different illnesses, and much scrabbling around to find the tissues.
So that over with, back to normality (kind of).
I have plans, a deadline, a performance piece and a few important decisions to make this month. I am waiting to find out more about the Margaret Harvey exhibition and when it might be and whether I can get any financial help. I also need to get my performance piece ready for the Surface Gallery exhibition taking place on the 6th February. This means a little white house to construct…more sewing!
The other plans remain top secret at the moment. I will reveal all later if they happen, I have always seemed to speak too soon and then when it doesn't end up happening feel a bit of a ninny. So I'm being a bit cautious for now.
I won't be getting in to the studio until Wednesday this week, I feel like I've been away so long. I almost expect to find a layer of dust over everything as I left in December.