So this blog, is just that – my work, reasons behind it and what happens to it…………. while trying to balance it all with having a full time job………..
I’m writing about my studio, but to be honest, I’ve had no time to work in there these last few months. I have worked…. though at home, whenever I could.
I’ve been trying to raise cash for future projects, so I’ve been doing overtime in my paid job. It leaves less time to do my own work, but needs must.
I need to find time to at least clean the studio up a bit for the huge project that is happening there in just two weeks – Translating the street
Its the second time we have invited artists to work in local businesses and create work based on their experiences. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write more about it after the event.
In the meantime, I’ve been coordinating the work of several artists to send over to Harrington Mills studios, to be part of the Platforms project in Athens. I’ve struggled with my own work for this. Its very small (25 x 25 cms including the mount) and its 2D. Both have been difficult for me. I’m submitting a collage (see below) but I have a couple of days to alter it if I change my mind. That’s probably not going to happen… given the list of things I have to do this weekend, but we’ll see.
While all of this is going on, I’ve been communicating with London based artist Fion Gunn about the workshops we’ll be doing at Tate Exchange in Liverpool this summer. I’ve booked my train ticked to London and once there, I’ll assist on the trial workshops there so that we can bring the project up north.
I am excited to be working on so many diverse projects, but it is a little terrifying too.
On that note though……I’d better get moving…..
I’ve done it again… said I would blog more regularly, but then things happen and another month (or two) goes by.
It really has been a learning curve to just sit back and let things happen. I’ve seen ‘opportunities’ come and go….and I’ve just let them. Its been liberating. That ‘open’ exhibition at the gallery I would submit work to every year… I just let it go. I’m less stressed and better off financially! (and realistically, who even notices your work in these ‘competitions’?)
Ironically, since deciding to ‘do nothing’, I’ve been contacted twice by schools and organisations to run workshops. Although that is fantastic to be asked, I’m not knocking that… it would mean taking time off work this early in the year and I really don’t want to do that. Although better paid that my day job, they are incredibly time consuming .
I needed to step back and I think it is working.
A London based artist contacted me a few months ago asking if I would like to work with her on a Liverpool based project. Its a hugely ambitious project and the sort of thing I would have tried to organise in the past. But , its been great letting another artist take the lead for a change.
It involves working with several organisations including Tate Exchange in Liverpool ( yes, I know I said in my last blog that I’ll be showing in Tate Exchange Tate Modern over summer… that’s just coincidental) and she has managed to attain Arts Council funding. Fantastic again that I didn’t have to set aside so much time for application writing!
I’ve had several meetings with the artist and spent a considerable time communicating through emails, so hopefully I can write a full blog on that project in a couple of months.
So what else?
Yesterday, I went to the artists breakfast at Tate Liverpool. It wasn’t as busy as the last one which was a shame, but the weather was pretty lousy. …..and it did start at 8.30. Does that say more about artists?
It is a huge thing that a director of a major art gallery wants to meet artists. I hope Helen Legg makes changes. She’s made a good start so far.
I’m probably not the only one thinking that January has been an incredibly hard month to get through.
Cold, damp… dark mornings and nights. I really couldn’t get myself going again.
I had the right idea last year of planning a solo show at the end of January, as that forced me to work : http://www.artinliverpool.com/events/cass-art-the-house-in-the-woods/ Not only that, but it started a momentum for the year.
I do think though that you get to a point where you just need to recharge, or to hibernate and that’s what this month has been about.
Rather than wear myself out planning and running all over the place delivering work, my New Years resolution was to just sit back, and go with the flow.
The intention was, I don’t apply for anything, just enjoy doing the work and expect nothing from this year at all.
I was really surprised then to receive several emails …. The first was to say that my artists book in the Liverpool Frankenstein exhibition is now touring to Bristol https://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/frankenstein/
Then, the book I’d sent to Sweden for the Enkoping Festival last year is now touring to a library in Västerås in March..(still waiting for a link to the exhibition)
A Paper shoes installation I made years ago will be heading to Tate Exchange in Tate Modern in July (again, just waiting for the exhibition link )
…and I’ve been asked to create new work for the Platforms project exhibition in Athens this summer.
I just feel like I’ve said to my work – right, I’ve created you, now its your turn to get yourself out there . Silly as that sounds, it makes me feel motivated again.
Well, so much for blogging more regularly….
I wrote my last blog post full of excitement about exhibiting in the group show and I wanted to continue being upbeat about the Biennial, the independents and of course our exhibition ( as it was a good exhibition and all that ) …. but…. yes, there’s always a but.
How much can you physically do? Or maybe more to the point – How much can I do? Well clearly I overestimated.
I more or less hung the first exhibition in the market on my own. That wasn’t actually too bad, as it was a small space and didn’t take a lot of work.
Then, when that exhibition ended, I carried the work from the market to the former George Henry Lees building across the road ( again, On my own) As it was pedestrianised area, there was no option but to physically carry it. As the space was bigger, there was now more work …and some of it was bloody heavy.
So to cut a long story short and one that would probably contain numerous expletives, somewhere in that journey, I pulled a muscle in my leg which has been excruciatingly painful and which, 3 months later still hasn’t healed properly.
I have been absolutely fed up…. I had that ‘Why am I doing this? ‘ moment …again… I felt like I didn’t want to exhibit again, didn’t want to work or even look at my studio. What is the point of all that work, paying out and not having any time ??
If it hadn’t happened, I probably would have got more bogged down. I really needed to step back, socialise and get away.
So that’s basically why anyone who is following me on social media, Instagram etc has only been seeing pictures of my days out and none of my work.
It has been an incredibly good year for me, but …..I need to pace myself in future.
It seemed a bit crazy to have a day trip while in the midst of so much chaos at the moment. Every spare second of my spare time has been accounted for and yet, I had this mad idea to take a mini break.
For our forthcoming exhibition – opening next week, we’re exhibiting with , among others, a couple of artists from Harrington Mill studios in Nottingham. We met at the Platforms project in Athens a few years ago and have been friends since.
So in between conversations about OUR exhibition, we were talking about The Great Exhibition of the North in Newcastle and we should go and see it. We booked train tickets and then kind of never thought about it again until the actual day.
I never do trips without planning. I’d have a map printed out and a full itinerary… but because my head has been mush and I’ve had so much to do. Planning went out of the window.
We turned up and just bumbled along.
The trail itself was a bit disorganised and some to be honest, wasn’t worth seeing, but it was a good day – despite the rain and the 3 hour train journey. Its good to be able to relax and unwind, and of course to have a good relationship with fellow exhibitors.
The next day, they travelled down to Liverpool to deliver their work. We met by Liverpool St Johns Market (where we will be exhibiting) dropped the work off there to store and then headed over to see the John Moores exhibition at the Walker.
Hmmmm…. didn’t like it. In all of our opinions, it was the weakest selection of work there for many years. Going into the room of past exhibitors (which is fabulous!) we thought how the recent work would stand up against these.
Going home, I sat in the garden for a bit and just thought about what a great 2 days off work I’d had. Sometimes its hard to keep going, but little perks like this make it all worth while.