Thinking very carefully about what to write today. Last week was a lot of reflecting, reconsidering where I am and considering where this is going.
I think it is a confidence thing. Since I began this course I have found I am conscious about my work made over the last 3 years or rather concerned with distancing myself from it, like it won’t stand up to the criticism of the MA. So being absolutely truthful here, I must of assumed that what I have done so far isn’t very good. (Ironically, there is a street in Wimbledon that I walk past on my way from the train station to the College called Goodenough Road, complete with little demon camping out on top cackling in his high pitched devilish tones….’YOU’RE NOT, YOU’RE NOT, YOUR NOT!’)
So you can see how I came to the conclusion that I have a slight confidence issue.
Anyway, the reason behind this sudden evaluation of the issue is that I had a tutorial on Thursday. It wasn’t a bad one at all, it was very helpful and enlightening but it did highlight the fact that I’ve got a little side tracked. I can see now that I have left a lot of hard work behind, maybe as I’m starting to suspect, as a bit of a safety barrier. The things that I have done before, without any feedback and guidance previously, feel a little vulnerable. I appear to have attempted to throw everything out before anyone else can. This going back to basics is not working, it is confusing me even more and taking me off the point of what my work is really about.
Luckily my tutor probed me for what I had done previously and asked to see it, then confronted me about how what was then relates to what is now and why. Oh, how the simple questions can hit you like a smack in the face. I walked away from the tutorial giddy. Why could I not see the obvious in my own work? Why do I bend to an invisible, self created, completely fictional pressure? …again that leads back to my lack of confidence issue….right I’m going to have to knock that little demon off his perch!
This week, quite out of the blue I’ve found a new place to work from January. It will be such a different set up from the one I’ve been in for four and a half years now. The most drastic difference will be that I will no longer be part of a studio group. It is a converted out building in a village 10mins from where I live. It is quite lovely, a perfect size and most importantly affordable. My own space… it is going to be so strange and I don’t have a clue how I’m going to find the experience of working alone. Part of me is excited about not having distractions, having complete control over my time and place and being away from the politics but the flip side of course, being isolated is worrying. I’m thinking the situation may suit me well while I’m at Wimbledon 2 days a week with plenty of opportunity for discussion and debate, but beyond the course, I’m sure I will feel the need to be working around other artists again.
The course is getting busy. Every week another few things go in the diary and my writing has got increasingly tiny, migrating up the side of the page to fit it all in.
I had my first crit on Thursday. I showed 3 video clips. I never would of believed that I would be showing video work especially so early on in this course but things are changing fast. Ideas are multiplying and expanding with every working day. I am thinking hard everyday, waking up to the ideas and struggling to put them to bed at night. The reaction to the work was generous and encouraging, nothing to cut me down. No attack. I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed listening to peoples comments. It was a very valuable experience and the criticism was really helpful.
Next week, another one to one tutorial with a different tutor. Right, getting in to the swing of it now, I think.
With so much to take in, just trying to be sponge-like… oh my poor brain.
Thankfully train problems didn’t prevent me from making it in to Wimbledon completely this week and actually helped me find a cheaper (although not quite so relaxing) alternative route. So I now feel better equipped for future problems. Bring it on First Capital Connect, I’m starting to see your cancellations as a challenge!
Being part-time is leaving me feeling a little bit of an outsider. I am skirting around the studios, not really knowing where my place is. The full time students occupy the centre, they look settled in, at home, confident in their routine. It is, I’m starting to see two very different experiences. I feel more like an observer looking in. I don’t want to sound negative about it, it’s not necessarily. I am still confident the part-time option is the right one for me, but as an observation and I suppose this is obvious, integrating into the college community is harder work, less automatic.
That said, this week has felt like progress. I got chatting to another part-time student and discovered that we are at very similar places and many of our ideas cross over. It was one of those great, exciting conversations when you end up talking really fast and being very animated. So after our discussion we agreed that it could really benefit us to work in the same space for a bit. So she is going to join me in the project space in a few weeks. Neither of us have a particular plan but feel that we are both more than happy to just experiment and bounce ideas around. We aren’t thinking of it like a collaboration but more a chance to have more discussions, help each other out and share the equipment. I’m really looking forward to this.
More playing in the studio this week. I feel my work, my identity, my process, my ideas are all somewhere else, somewhere where I can’t quite get a grasp on them. My approach has gone from somewhere specific to somewhere increasingly vague. The plane of possibility has suddenly grown rather vast and it feels a little overwhelming. So I’m playing with lines in the studio and reading Deleuze on the train (phew). This vastness seems to of provoked a vagueness. Looking at lines, looking at corners, looking at the space around me. All I can say about my stuff at the moment is that it is unsure, searching. I have booked the project space at Wimbledon for a few days in a couple of weeks time. I feel that I need to actually work in that place. This nomad feeling is making me feel quite distant from my work. Like it is always somewhere else and I am forever having to conjure up its existence in my mind, forever recalling it and its existence somewhere else. There is an underlying need for transportation and temporariness. These altered demands on my production have brought up many questions.
I have entered the world of academia and at the moment it is a lot discussion, a lot of theories and concepts, a lot of analysing(which is proving fascinating and exciting). So what is this funny feeling I have? A loss of privacy and the protection of it just being me, maybe? I never realised my isolation provided a feeling of security in that way. I feel like my process is going to be opened up, dissected, my bubble burst. Will I be found out? Will I be exposed as a fraud? Will I be sent away with my head hung in shame or sent to the corner with the dunce hat on? Ok sounding a little neurotic but so far this course is, I guess having the desired effect…it is challenging my methods and the cozy-ness of old habits and… there doesn’t seem any place to hide.
Btw I’m on twitter and pimping myself for followers. http://twitter.com/Chrissy_Bryant