At last the studio is feeling like somewhere that I can work
It has taken longer than I expected and it is not yet totally as I want it, it is however much much better and well on the way to being a working space. Unpacking, re-packing and sorting has given me the opportunity to literally and metaphorically go-through things. I am pleased that I have saved not only documentation of realised works but also notes, proposals and sketches for “as yet un-realised” pieces too. Of course some of these are now quite dated, others maintain a certain relevance, and one in particular could be seen to have taken on a new significance since it was first drafted in the late 1990s! In the light of the very positive reactions that I received to the performative aspects of Following Eugène it was interesting to look at some of my earlier performances and live works. Finding notes and photos from the gay performance workshops and show that I and several other men did with Tim Miller at the CCA (Glasgow) in the mid-nineties(!) reminded me of the process that we used to devise a piece that combined autobiographical, cultural and historical content. Our ways of working were not so different from those that shaped Frozen Progress with Nic Sandiland’s Ambler group several years later. I want to develop something else out of the city walk and the subsequent short monologue at Fylkingen (Stockholm). Being unsure of what exactly it is that I want to achieve is exciting and means that the eventual form that the work takes will be shaped by the content and the process. At the same time I getting ahead of myself and am starting to imagine something quite theatrical with a set, props, lights and music. It feels important to allow something to develop between these realms of the unknown and the known – perhaps this is what all artists strive for.
Could it also be that my ‘new’ studio is influencing how I see myself working? After both the studio at Wip and the one in West Norwood it feels very different to be “working at home”. It is easier for me to imagine working on performative content here than it is for me to consider working on sculptural objects or even installations. In the longer term I do want to find a studio that feels more industrial and more suited to physical materials and fabrication, in the meantime perhaps this room in my flat is a good place in which to conjure up ethereal and fleeting scenes. It is not lost on me that I spoke of the significance of the artists’ studio on the Following Eugène walk. I wonder if there are rehearsal rooms to be found in Enköping?
Collage: the collage work of two American artists: Joseph Cornell (1903-1972) and Jess (1923-2004) makes me want to get out my scalpel and glue! Something for long winter evenings?