A very long day. Much as yesterday, undercoating and wondering if I’ll ever get to the glazing stage. Now it’s postponed until Monday. Not great but unavoidable. My proxy vote in the British general election failed to materialise despite my scrambling to get the form in by the deadline. The helpline was engaged all the times I tried. So the only two Hackney people I know who are overseas voters both disenfranchised. And found I was rejected for a grant from the Statens Kunst Fond (Danish Arts Council). You can imagine what I privately immaturely nickname them! Still it would have been a three year grant, 800 applicants only 160 grants so it would have been a very lucky sweep. On the positive side I did sand two more large panels, only two more to tackle. Still struggling a bit to see the whole thing finished in time.
I like this bag, which is for rubbish, on the Danish trains. It reads: Rubbish in the bag. Bag in the hand. Hand on the heart. Where will it end? On the platform. In the rubbish bin. Thanks.
Sometimes I find myself wondering the same about House of Cards. How did I get involved in this, I think. What on earth am I doing? It just gets bigger and bigger, absorbing more and more time, energy, money, attention. And I think why????! Many times I have wondered is it just one massive ego trip.
Then today I had a moment where I thought, it’s just like marathon running (I imagine; I mean, I’ve never run one!). It’s like the loneliness of the long distance runner. Something in my character urges me to present myself with challenges like this one, to endure the stretches of uncertainty where you are not sure what you are doing, and certainly not sure it will work out, to endure the physical challenges of holding up heavy sanding machines, of the noise of paint guns and extractor fans, of dirty chapped hands – workman’s not lady’s – hands, for the immense satisfaction you feel if you do emerge on the other side.
Although I certainly haven’t yet, with this project, I do get glimmers, or I did today, of just starting to see form begin to emerge out of chaos. And I reflect on the fact that my character, perhaps selfishly, also needs to face up to these lonely challenges myself, to prove something to myself, in a way that was not satisfied when I worked on programmes at the BBC. That environment ended up competitively pitting producer against producer, vying with each other to prove themselves to an editor. But I needed to prove myself to myself and I think that is what I am doing with projects like these, among other things (hopefully) ..like making art, most importantly.
Anyway, there’s no doubt that having a whole day to work on it, as I will tomorrow also (thank you Radu) means I get into more of a meditative state of mind!
A headlong rush for the station today, grateful for my bike. I was literally working until the last minute. I tried a new route by train, which gives me an extra 25 minutes at both ends of the day, and avoids the stultifying heat of the buses.
I’ve begun painting, which feels good. Definitely feel I am hitting my stride, finding those small ways of being more efficient in repetitive tasks that make such a difference. Am also now factoring two full working days in, which should help a lot. Radu, my husband, will collect Zach tomorrow, leaving work early bless him. Still feel somewhat daunted by the task of finishing this all in two weeks, there are so many pieces of the jigsaw to juggle, but also that I’m starting to eat my way round the core (something I’m trying to teach Zach to do with apples so he doesn’t have to spit out the spiky bits). Of eleven sections, six are underway now.
It takes about an hour and a half to get over to Roskilde and back every day. Most of it is mind numbing suburban landscape, it exists in Denmark just as in Britain. But this is a nice view of an oil seed rape field just near Høje Taastrup Station.
Began the hard work of preparing the panels which will make up the main structure for painting today. I had hoped to sand the third and largest ‘wing’ for the front, but it won’t be made ’till tomorrow. The urgency there is to try and get the ‘wings’ finished this week so the glaze on the rear will have maximum drying time before the sculpture is collected for freight to Aarhus in two weeks’ time. I won’t glaze the main structure until it’s installed.
Still: not like there isn’t plenty to do in the meantime..in breaks from sanding I would look up and see all the other panels silently awaiting my ministrations. Seven in all, I sanded one today. .