My favourite gadget is my iPad, which resides right next to bed, within reach even when the kitchen moves out of walking-range, sitting up is hard to do and my arms are too tired to – almost anything. I use it lying down, iPad on belly in bedstead so-to-speak. It keeps me – intermittently – productive and in touch when much else fails.
Lately I’ve been writing my talk for the private view at R-Space Gallery, under extremely – shall I say ‘lacklustre’ – circumstances energy-wise; a pouring, or at times, trickling out of text through fingertips – one hundred cheers for the invention of virtual keyboards! When I finished early Monday afternoon champagne bubbles burst from my head and an imaginary high-octane song&dance ensued. Tala dee – it’s done!
I will deliver my talk via Skype-link – a first for me. As I do my daily read-through to see where the text needs tightening up I wonder how much harder it is to hold an audience’s attention via Skype instead through real presence. Occasionally a whirl of worry-thoughts hits. I haven’t got any jokes! What if my internet is down on the day? Or the gallery’s? What if I can’t sit up long enough? (Here’s an idea: I’ll give it lying down…) The worst though is ‘what if nobody comes?’.
Anyway, it is written and I much enjoyed finding my trail, my trajectory. Reviewing one’s work is a curious mixture of critical consideration from within and a bit of stepping back; of self-regard, doubt, smugness and exhilaration. Envisage a flurry of movement between down-grading, up-lifting and sinking-again feelings – quite dizzy-making actually. In the end though intro-specting my adventures with hair, my move from childhood-memory to post-memory work, and finally my #artling-series showed me how much my art-practice has expanded, in terms of scope and media, and stayed true to what I want to do. My father/daughter/history project esp. required adjustment, change. For years I produced discrete pieces, carefully, painstakingly crafted, often over months. Lately process has become important, and contingency. And with my #artlings I found ways of playing and experimenting, letting accidents happen (difficult with crochet), kindling on-line conversations, and working faster too. Of course I ask myself if my work is good enough, or maybe too small, too homely, too comfortable, lacking in cutting-edgeness (edginess too). Oh, of only it can stand up (or lie down) for itself, in Lisburn; if only people will find it charged, and full of interest and energy.
This last one, #artling no 67, also happened under my fingertips, on a day when my hands could hardly hold. What pleases me is that for a wee moment I moved away from representation. More to come.
Strands of wishful thinking: Hairlings and other things
2 – 30 May 2015
Artist’s talk at 3 pm on 2 May 2015
The Linen Rooms
32 Castle Street
Lisburn BT27 4XE