Turning Up is Paying Off!
The second week of being at the studio full-time has been wonderfully productive, it is a long time since I have felt so good about what I am doing and so hopeful about it too. Sometimes it is amazing what can happen over a week …
The sorting and clearing of last week was the start of it. Physically clearing a corner of the studio meant that I quite literally have space for new work. While re-arranging boxes, packages, tools and other stuff I realised how there was nowhere in the studio where I could see the line where the wall meets the floor. I remember how I do not like rooms where I cannot see at least some of this line – maybe it is some kind of horizon line (for me) and when I cannot see it at all I feel hemmed in and suffocated. I now have some clear horizon again.
Looking at unfinished work did not inspire me to finish it however it shifted something in my thinking. Perhaps looking at these ‘resting’ pieces kick-started my thought processes; trying to remember why I started them, what my ambitions for them were, what they were for.
The upshot of those days was the start of something new and I am very excited about it …
Being regularly at the studio I allow myself to do what I want – this week days have been a mix of sketching and note making, gathering materials, reading and looking at artist’s catalogues. This is much more relaxed than when I rush here (to the studio) and feel that I must ‘be productive’ for the three hours that I have.
Completely separately though relatedly I also had a very inspiring evening on the internet. It started with a simple quest to find the starting time of the Olympic opening ceremony. My search question somehow brought up information about the production team rather than a programme schedule. I was surprised to see Catherine Ugwu’s name, I remember her from Live Art Development Agency when I was doing performance art in the late 90s. Seeing her name as Executive Producer made me wonder what other people I used to know are up to. A search for Mark Waddell (the excellent Performance Director at Glasgow’s CCA in the 90s) lead me to his publications about Goat Island performance group who I met when I attended their first ‘summer school’ in 1996. Mark, and his assistant Lisa Kapur, put on brilliantly programmes of internationally acclaimed performance art alongside showcasing experimental and new artists – they gave me my first opportunity to show performance in a truly professional context. Next I searched the name of a performance project I did in 2001 in London. I was really pleased to find that the project director Nic Sandiland has a short recorded excerpt of the performance – Frozen Progress – on his website. It was the first time that I have seen any documentation as after the live performance we all became busy with other things and despite attempts to keep in touch we did not manage it. I watched the three minute clip at least three times.
I returned to Goat Island’s website and looked at the documentation of several of their performances, I really like them. Their summer school was amazing and is till very clear in my mind. I liked the way that they worked as individuals and as “collaborators” (their term).
After that I looked at Desperate Optimists’ website (they studied theatre at Dartington when I studies art and our paths used to cross) and Five Andrews’ website (I was a performer in a project run by two members of the group). All of which reminded me of how much I enjoyed being part of that performance scene and how much I enjoyed working with other people to produce something.
Perhaps that is part of my attraction to working with Ingrid and Anna both of who are involved to differing degrees with the Stockholm performance scene. I would be very happy if our Sandcastles in Greece project becomes live art/ performance …