Often when I am in the studio or just going about things I make (mental) notes of things to write about. Last week it was about ‘packing’ – specifically how I was packing artworks to deliver to a large group show in Stockholm. I did not get even get close to actually writing anything before I was engaged in other activities that lead me down different paths of thought.
Speaking with a friend last night I realised that I keep myself too busy. I really enjoy doing things and perhaps do too many things at the same time. It is easy for me to prioritise doing practical visible things, so when I speak of being busy it is usually refering to physical rather than mental engagement with something. Yet I wonder if these two components might be equally necessary to move things forward in a more sustainable and holistic way.
For as long as I can remember I have admired artists who have good packaging for their artworks. It is something that I aspired to and I toldmyself that when I am successful I too will have well made boxes tailored to individual pieces. Last week I unpacked and re-packed works in preparation for taking them to Stockholm. The studio was soon covered in bin-bags and old cardboard boxes. While I justify these materials in terms of their inexpensiveness it did cross my mind that perhaps I was undervalueing the importance of packaging doing its job well – that is to say protecting the artwork. Size appropriate wooden crates lined with polystyrene (or some environmentally friendly alternative) will provide far greater protection for the increasing number of glitter objects than the doubled bin-bags and ill-fitting old cardboard cartons that they currently occupy. Whether I am consider myself sufficiently successful to warant such investment is not a relevant question – I see now that my youthful ideas were somewhat misplaced. It is not about success, it is about taking myself and my artworks seriously. If I do not take them seriously can I really expect other people to do so?