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Making work without pressure – just doing stuff because I can. This may not seem much like a big deal but to me it is. I have 4 people depending on me everyday. I try to encourage independence but it takes time to learn and so I am responsible whether in the mood or not. One of the side effects of having a family is that it’s easy to lose sight of who I am – no one will ever ‘gift ‘ me space to do what I want to do, so I have to create boundaries and be unpopular even to gain a small amount of time to myself ( if I actually know what I want to do). This is  usually preceded and then followed by dealing with the stresses of my emotional ‘work’ related turmoil and being expected to manage the dependents emotional turmoils too. Most often I fall very short of my aim.

So when I am told to ‘play’ or ‘try things out for fun’ it doesn’t come naturally to be selfish  there isn’t the space in my head for it. In fact it makes me feel quite out of control. My whole being is taken up with facilitating other people’s lives from when I get up to going to bed. Thoughts of my own work have to fight for space within this framework. Space/time expansion is becoming very significant.

Pico Lyer said

silence is more than just a pause; it is that enchanted place where space is cleared and time is stayed and  the horizon itself expands

Each week I get to Ashburnham and I struggle to get out of the car even . …ridiculous. But I am facing bigger issues in this physical and mental place because I am here to explore and to find out just what I do in my own time…what choices do I have and what choices do I make? A new word I have come across is Sunyata (the Buddhist concept of empty space or void). A positive void.  The transition from school drop to entering the void is painful.

So I turn up and walk, then I get an idea and try it out. This is as far as it has got and that’s OK. Its not that I didn’t do this before but for some reason everything I thought I knew about me is now up for scrutiny. I feel dangerously small and I can feel myself retreating. So I keep on walking and making things with what I have and tell myself to stop the internal interrogation and just let me be.

I see other artists work at degree shows, read about artists I like such as Peter Lanyon, Sandra Blow or Roger Hilton and get ideas about work I could do but for now I am keeping those influences at arms length and letting myself surface from somewhere deep. I have to make work my own and that has to come from a long perhaps awkward and hidden way in…that’s where I think and feel I’m going…..don’t worry if you don’t really understand – neither do I but I do know  that there is no end in sight and that’s a good thing for now.