Statement is done; Amisha sent me the proof of the invite to look over, which was quite exciting. I couldn’t decide on which image to use so sent a few for her to choose from. She went for the one of me performing – I had a feeling she would.
I find I have a number of different things on the go now and not sure exactly where some of them are going but I am enjoying working in this way and letting one idea feed off of another. Having this coming up has really helped me to focus on the different threads in my practice and follow some that I have only toyed with in the past. It seems like a good time to reflect on my practice as a whole but fortunately doesn’t allow me a chance to get too diverted or confused, I know I must just keep hard at it and stay focused, as well as keep a little faith. I feel like I am just skimming the surface of confusion and bafflement as a survival mechanism now (time for all that later)…. For now just keep making, keep exploring and keep focusing on the ideas but don’t try to resolve. I am really excited just trying things out. It feels like such a luxury!
Tonight I’m going to a meeting over in Hertford about the proposed studios. I hope this goes well. I feel very excited about meeting some of the other artists that are getting involved and looking forward to seeing things move forward. High hopes are risky but I still can’t help but have them!
Another week has sped by and what have I been up to? I worked the bank holiday over at another shop in Hatfield. Joy, oh joy! But it’s a job at least. (restrain the full moan!)
The rest of the week for some reason, I’m finding it hard to recall, it has gone so quickly. I have been working on the drawing on and off but have been combining it with other more pressing tasks – like my personal statement. I find I have a strange relationship with the activity of statement writing. Sometimes I feel a slight resentment at having to constantly be writing, rewriting, searching for words that sum up and justify a whole ever changing practice. Other times it feels like a really useful reflection and reassessment of things. But for some reason the words of the curator of the C4RD gallery come back to me when I sit down to start one… ‘Artist’s usually aren’t good at writing about their work’. Are we the best people to be explaining our own work? I don’t think it’s out of laziness that I sometimes don’t feel it appropriate to write bumf of text (my sketch book is filled with pages of notes) I like writing… I like writing this blog and reflect constantly, but I hate writing something that accompanies a piece of work and could be taken as fact. The word 'statement' sounds very final and official. I don’t know maybe I'm just thinking too much about it. What does everyone else think about this? Do we read, write and value statements and explanations? I just know, like my statements, my opinion of them is ever changing.
Well anyway, I have almost got there with the statement – as much as I can at this point in time. By the time the exhibition comes round though I will probably be feeling quite uncomfortable about my stated claims, so please don’t take anything I write as concrete. It is all subject to change!
I did also last week go and find out more about a proposed plan for a new studio group in Hertford. It looks positive, although very early days so I’m not packing my bags just yet, but it does seem to have potential. Fingers crossed on that one and plenty more to find out.
This week has mostly been spent away from the studio; I was working on my installation drawing on Tuesday. So far, all seems to be coming together quite successfully (dare I even suggest smoothly? argh….not yet!!!) I’m enjoying seeing it come together though, especially as it feels a little like I’m working it all out as I go along. Each time I approach one of these drawings I start by scratching my head, and um-ing rather a lot, trying to recall how I even start. Like beginning anything it involves me staring at a blank white wall feeling the weight of emptiness.
Wednesday I spent the day in London with Quintin. It felt wonderful having set aside this whole day for seeing art and being together. We started the day at the Roni Horn exhibition at the Tate Modern. We spent ages here, and especially lingered in the room with the photos of the Thames and the glass cast. I came out deep in contemplation and provoked in thought. I am fascinated by how she made me feel about what I already know but never really recognised. I was reading an article by Hilary Mantel on the train down about wonderfully interesting books and how when she reads something really interesting it is like someone articulating thoughts she had never known how to articulate before. I guess seeing a good exhibition kind of does the same, you come out brimming with what feels to me like more of an understanding and more questions about yourself. We then went round the Rodchenko and Popova- Defining Constructivism. A complete contrast to what we had just seen, but knowing so little about this movement when I went in, I felt I came out the other side with an enthusiasm to find out more. After lunch we went over to the Hayward to see Mark Wallinger’s exhibition ‘The Russian Linesman’ and got a bonus as our ticket took us in to the Annette Messager exhibition. This was an unexpected treat. I knew nothing of her work before but loved it. It was very dark, bizarre and horrific. It was like being trapped in someone else’s disturbed yet strangely playful mind.
The rest of the week was spent doing family stuff, with a bit of decorating. Finally I could afford sometime to lend Q a hand around the house. Next week I plan to get myself back to studio work.
I did have a decent amount of time in the studio this week but strangely didn’t feel as productive as I thought I might. I have so much to be getting on with and have a clear idea of the steps I need to be taking to get things progressing, yet for some reason the brain didn’t really feel like engaging with the tasks. It’s frustrating to have a bad mood come along and disable my productivity for a good few days. Friday I sort of managed to shake it off enough to make some progress but I felt annoyed at myself for wasting so much time floating around with a vacant head on. Where did it come from?
Now it’s Saturday and I’m back at the gallery working. We are having a closing down sale; the inevitable is happening and what will happen to my job after the end of April -who knows! Like always with this job I’m keeping my head down, my fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I need it more than I am admitting to myself really. It is my only steady income and allows things to tick over (although admittedly only just).
I have also this week started looking into studios available around this area and this has been another thing that has darkened my mood. There seems to be so little on offer. I really want to remain part of a studio group rather than working in an isolated space. I still have a year left at Digswell Arts Trust but am aware of how hard it is to find a good place to work and am trying to be prepared. Instead it is just leaving me a little despondent. Basically, I am not going to be able to afford anything and if there is some little diamond place out there at an affordable price, will I ever find it? How will I survive without a place to work? I have got the 2 year MA course due to start in September and all the cost of that. Even if I do get the funding it’s going to be expensive, so much uncertainty….blah, blah, blah. I will stop now; it would appear I’m currently only in the mood to see problems and negatives. I hope to write a much more positive post soon.
I am very grateful for having a place to spill out my anxieties and was lightened up this morning by a good read of other recent posts. I find myself addicted to checking fellow bloggers updates and finding out how they are getting on. It has given me a real valuable insight into how other artists manage the everyday reality of being an artist.