There is a point I think, in most projects, trains of thought… whatever… when there is a wobble, if you’re lucky, only one, if it is a bigger project, possibly more. This is a bigger project, and I have just hit the first. I recognise the feeling as a crisis of confidence, and I am giving myself a bit of a talking to, in an effort to dismiss it before it takes root too firmly.
I am constructing bra number four upon the table in front of me. You might think, “Crikey! Bra number four out of nine? Doing well!” But no, because I have already decided to make more than nine, and then pick the nine that work the best when they are all together. So I could end up with 12……15…..? Who knows?
If I had not gained the funding for this project, it may not have happened, I might just have sailed along happily. But, having had the “yes!” letter, I feel, obviously, and rightly, a greater responsibility. If I would like further funding in the future from the Arts Council, I don’t want them to look at this at the end and them say “well that’s a bit crap!” I also feel a responsibility to the people whose hard earned money provided this opportunity for me.
So this wobble then, takes the form of an internal dialogue, that I wasn’t consciously aware of when I made the first two/three…. It goes something like this:
“Ooh I’m going to sew tassels and pom-poms to this one! Black! It’s going to be fun!”
“Yeah! They will jiggle about!”
“Yeah! How great would it be to have a bra that jiggled about?!”
“Hmmm…?… What does that mean?”
“You’ve got all this money for this bra to be fun and great and “jiggle about”?”
“Oh… Well… I thought that there are probably a few middle aged women out there either jiggling about or wanting to jiggle about…. I kind of want to jiggle about…. Sometimes…..”
“Do you think a Proper Professional Funded Artist should be jiggling about?”
“Umm… Well… Errr… Actually…. Yes I do.”
And so it goes on, sometimes the serious voice wins and I waste loads of time time trying to find the falsely deep and meaningful in what I’m doing, instead of standing by the deep and meaningful that gets created instinctively, and gets thought about as I go along. The really confident me knows that this will happen, and sticks with it. The scared me is bowed by it and takes bizarre turns down theoretical cul-de-sacs and makes work that doesn’t fit properly.
This is why I will probably end up making fifteen bras, so that at the end I can filter out the ones that say “Please, no jiggling here, I am a serious piece of art!”
(I attach here, a link to a sound cloud file, this is a “secret” link that will only work for a while… I’m just dipping in a toe and testing the response… please let me know what you think, any constructive and practical ideas gratefully received)