Life at the moment is a lot of just getting on with it; getting on with the sewing, getting on with the soldering, getting on with the traces, getting on with the decision making. It’s all turned in to the very practical period of doing. ‘Doing’ is boring to comment on; ‘doing’ is a happy, safe, comforting, friendly place. My fingers are occupied so my brain can mull but just float on that surface and gently feel the passing of time. ‘Doing’ makes me feel like a worker, a noble grafter with purpose, even if the job is just sewing a length of material or constructing a mini wire door. Let me just hum and do, just occasionally branding myself with the hot solder iron and slowly scratching away the ends of my fingers with jagged wire and needles.

Sometimes it really feels that the action is where the sense lies; it is the core, where my practice lives, it’s the friendly face, where things are more in harmony with my being, more mellow. It’s the calm in my head, in between the searching out and the making sense, away from the eyes and thoughts of others. It’s the eye of my storm. Quiet and deceptively simple.


I’ve managed to get some good time in the studio over the last week or so and this week hopefully is going to be a good one too for getting things done. On one hand there is the fear that the over time I’m promised at work won’t materialise or alternatively it does and will leave me no time to get all the pieces finished for the exhibition. For now though I have time to get on with the art work so I’m keeping hard at it.

Probably the most interesting thing I did last week was go to the BCA to see Alex Pearl’s exhibition. Right on the high street, opposite the hustle and bustle of Bedford’s Saturday market was the understated and wonderfully endearing world of Pearl. Through reading his blog I felt I had had a little feel for the humorous look at his own sense of failure and anti-climax. The exhibition was to me a wonderful celebration of our limitations and disappointments and one I feel I can really identify with…. the not quite brave enough. It was such a mix of playful, pathetic, witty, with an underlying sense of some pitiful disappointment. They had an interview with Alex; it was completely fascinating, having read his blog for a while, following his many humorous stories of the blunders and embarrassments, to see him (that sounds a bit stalker-ish), but listening to the interview its hard to differentiate between the work and the person, (not that he’s pitifully disappointing) but the work is so him or maybe it’s just so us, so real life, and acceptant and reflective of something we try to avoid and mask so much, the failure. I was so glad to have seen it. Thanks Alex!

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Wow, this has been really helpful. Ok, so I haven’t solved my financial problem, but the discussion and advice has been very valuable and much appreciated, the generosity of other artists and their desire to offer advice and support leaves me with a warm fuzzy feeling inside, I’m finding myself wanting to say – you guys! and jab my computer screen with an affectionate style punch – weird! Seriously though, it has got me considering and re-evaluating how I originally (before all the issue of money came into it) came to the decision that an MA was best for me.

There is nothing like lack of money to give you a wake up call to the real world. Things cost money, living costs money (duh) and most significantly for my practice, progress costs money! The relevance of cost to my decision making has been miniscule in the grand scheme of things. Generally, I am a person who finds it hard to consider money, either accumulating it or parting with it. Someone mentions selling, costs, income, anything money related and I have this strange reaction with eyes glazing over and involuntary yawning. This, I think is why sometimes it bites me back so hard. Suddenly I find it has the authority over a situation so important to me and my delusional state of mind that I am hardly influenced by it, that there will always be a way round it, is shattered by a sudden hard to swallow dose of reality. I suddenly realise that my avoidance tactics is just plain irresponsible. I have to consider how my practice is going to become more sustainable, I am failing myself by not facing up to how the real world works.

But I can’t at the moment, start beating myself up over this failing. It is pretty irrelevant to my situation now. Hopefully these kinds of problems can be considered and tackled when I am on the MA. The main point now is that I have decided that one way or another I am getting my arse on that course! It is the right step for me now and I want it.


'I understand that this will disappoint you, but hope that you will continue with your plans to take up your place as an MA student and look forward to welcoming you to this College'

Things are looking grim. I sat up last night and looked at my options. Sitting in my dressing gown at midnight staring at the fire place, I failed to find them. So the dilemma has reared its bloody head and dropped a ton of bricks on my dreams of doing the ma. There is a vital ingredient and I now don’t have it…. money.

Does anyone know where I might turn at this stage? Does anyone else fund courses?

I wasn’t prepared for how bad this would feel and how hopeless my chances would now look; I had blocked it all out. Can I really, after all end up not doing the course? The idea makes me feel sick. But the thought of how I might do it makes me feel sick too! Expensive bank loans, rinsing my family, working every hour, living on nothing, relying on other people, setting up a sexy chat line, etc, etc….

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s like having it waved in front of my face and then whipped away. I know it was really foolish of me to rely on funding but that was my only option…to hope and hope for it.

And I don’t know why I was unsuccessful. I don’t know what let me down…. The standard of work, my location, my fellowship, my age, my hair colour? What were they judging me on? I am not deserved enough. (In a pathetic whimpering voice)

I am really sorry that I am just spewing self pity on this page…but I honestly don’t know what else to do at this moment in time. Who would understand the utter frustration of it quite like other artists do?

Oh you cruel, cruel world!

Ok, so get over it start working out options…

I’ll have to get back to you on that one…..


'The level of competition this year for limited funding was high and I regret to inform you that the panel was unable to recommend that your application be submitted to the AHRC'