This week…um…trying to think back all the way to Monday. Monday, I was at the gallery (work, boring, yawn, yawn) Tuesday I had a play day at the studio. I enjoyed it. It seems I have started a routine of spending my studio days just getting straight on and building things, constructing drawing set ups around various areas of the building, taking lots of photos and then taking it all down at the end of my day, going home and thinking about what I have done and looking back at the photos. I quite like the immediateness and spontaneity of this approach. It seems to be a response to having so little time to spend in my studio. Being in there has started to feel more like an event in itself.
Wednesday I spent the day in London seeing the Turner Prize (enjoyed Lucy Skaer’s work), the Anish Kapoor exhibition and Metzger at the Serpentine (favourite moment crawling around on my hands and knees under a giant sheet trying to see the image beneath me whilst trying not to get in a knot.)
The 2 uni days were made up of exhibitions, seminars, lectures and workshops as part of the Graduate School. I managed to get to Chelsea on Thursday which was a great opportunity to familiarise myself with the site, see the other students. I booked myself in for a workshop session with Angela Rogers. I really didn’t know what to expect, titled ‘Stretching the Rules’ and something to do with drawing was the depth of my prior knowledge. What it ended up being was a really interesting drawing ‘conversation’…literally, I draw a bit, you draw a bit (no talking). We drew for a half an hour which actually felt like 10mins and then discussed our drawing and how it felt. To me it felt intense, strangely intimate and I found that in a similar way I become stuck for words sometimes, I became stuck for a drawn response at moments. It was so interesting how we provoked reactions through this drawing exercise. I felt often a sense of confusion and amusement on my part. Afterwards I realised I had been really open with Angela following our drawing session, discussing anxieties about words and meanings being misread and worries about being led/following. Did it turn in to a kind of therapy session?…I wonder if she finds that she gets that response often. Or maybe it’s just me! Egh.
Friday was at Wimbledon. I went to some interesting discussions. Particularly interesting was a seminar on collaboration with Sonia Boyce, discussing its purpose and its problems… I was obviously considering it in relation to my recent experience of collaborating. After the discussion I could see how inevitable our fall out in the summer was. We were like a text book example of all that can go wrong in collaborative projects and it helped me understand why it might of happened that way.
Another week, another significant amount of travelling, another lot of lugging my extremely heavy bag and knocking in to everyone and everything followed by my ‘Sorry, sorry, excuse me’. Some more trying to work out where I am suppose to be and racing to get there. A little more standing staring aimlessly at the notice board and the train information board. All in all the regularities of my routine are starting to emerge.
I did manage to get my first tutorial after some confusion. The difficulties of the part time option have started to become clear. My tutorial was cancelled in the week due to my personal tutor being unwell, but rescheduled last minute with someone else and… I missed the message or the message missed me. I turn up with no work, not even my sketch book in an attempt to reduce weight for that day. Anyway, to cut the long story down a bit but to insure due credit is given to the hero of this tale… my wonderful boyfriend came to the rescue, battling against the clock with a rucksack containing the weight of about 5 large house bricks on his back, travelling across London, spending a small fortune on a rail ticket, having abandoned his lunch he was just about to bite into, to deliver me my laptop and sketch books with an hour to spare! Thank you so much!
So I had my tutorial and I feel that it went well. It has given me plenty to think about and although I’m in a time of change with regards to my practice I don’t feel lost at sea. More than anything I feel excited (slight nervous excitement maybe) but enthused. I think what I really got out of this tutorial was a conversation that reaffirmed my own considerations and doubts. It was the first time Edwina had looked at my work and her response to it felt completely in line with what I think I’m doing but pushed those difficult questions about where it’s going. This has given me a sense of reassurance but also left big question marks hanging over the future progression of it…there is an opening up happening and I am eager to embrace and drive the change.
A tiring week but a good one.
This week seems to have gone in a flash. I managed to spend a precious 2 days working in my studio.(well mostly just sitting, staring into space, at times sporting a rather fetching polystyrene box over my head. Don’t ask!) It has been a while since I got in there and even when I have it’s always been with another more practical task set out ahead of me. This quiet contemplation, experimental time is well over due. I know I rely on a certain obscure time/space to withdraw into my thoughts and push out those yet unseen possibilities. I can’t say I unearthed a lot but I did feel I started to contemplate areas of my work that need to be strongly reassessed. I guess it is quite normal to have found a process of working that feels comfortable and ‘right’ because you have learnt to do it over time, let it define your progress. But is it really working for me? This has been the question constantly in the back of my mind this week. Can I approach these ideas from different more effective angles?
So I’m now a little lost in the fog of it all, my ideas, my approaches. Where am I? One noticeable feature of this is that although I feel a little uneasy about where I am, I don’t feel in a panic. Is it because I am aware that I am on my MA and that this is a time for experimentation and questioning? I feel like I want to unpick so much of what I’ve done up to now and really understand it better…for better or worse.
Anyway, I have my first tutorial next week. I think it will help. I need to discuss these thoughts and concerns and I also need to just battle through it in my mind.
Phew, it’s been a busy week. Tuesday went really well and was unexpectedly relaxing. A good mate of mine from the studio kindly agreed to come with me to Bath to help out with the installing of my stairs for the Domesticated exhibition at Walcot Chapel. It turned out to be a really good day for catching up during the 3 hour journey there and I think we almost forgot we weren’t on a holiday and had work to do.
We got the piece up without too much of a hitch, although having to stand at the top of a 6ft ladder with a 4ft pole in my arms waiting for the glue at the end of my pole to dry and stick my little plastic block to attach my fishing wire to, to the ceiling, was pretty tiresome. It is quite often that it is at these moments I find my mind pondering as to what exactly in my life led me to this particular position.
Once up and secured I found it difficult to fix my eyes on the piece. It was so different in this new space, disappearing in to its background. Having left the wall behind me and having produced this free standing 2d/3d drawing I am feeling oh so slightly apprehensive. The fact that it can be seen from every angle yet seems to hide from view continuously left me feeling uneasy. I’m not sure why. I didn’t however have long to look at it and consider, before we had to be on our way back. So it’s there and I’m here.
Wednesday was a bit of researching into possible new studio spaces. It seems that there might me a possible place in the same village that I live. This obviously would be a massive blessing, but I’m wondering how I have gone so long without knowing about it.
Thursday and Friday was Uni and Friday we had our first introduction to the critical practice lecture series. As a taster of things to come it did certainly get me salivating. ‘The Terror of Neutrality’ is the title and some of the ideas discussed were definitely getting my cogs turning in anticipation.
Also got allocated my personal tutor and have my first tutorial session in the diary for 2 weeks time.
After the day I imagined myself flaking out on the train coming home, chilling out to a bit of music and quietly digesting the days bombardment of new information. Instead I got a cancelled train, an unexpected change over and my face squashed against the window as I clung to the rail trying not to head butt the window or get a face full of an armpit for an hour. Oh the joys of commuting!… that said, a small price to pay for such a stimulating day.
Finally I can start my new blog. I have been suffering from a mental block lately. Revving my engine just a little too long and somehow managed to stall.
I started at Wimbledon last Thursday, which was great. A few first day nerves were churning on the train down but they soon disappeared once the day was under way. We had an introduction to each others’ work through a 1 minute showcase. Although a little daunting at first, it was an ideal way to get a first impression of what we are all into. The variety of work was exciting – being in a room with such a concentration of ideas…it was giving me belly flutters!
It looks the next few weeks are going to be inductions and getting settled in. I can’t wait to get stuck in.
Tomorrow I’m off to Bath to set up my piece for Domesticated. With so much other stuff going on this seems to have crept up on me. I hope I’m organised! Tomorrow will tell.