Studio-Intensive Day 9
Well, last day of my plan. It has been a headlong, packed week that is intended to project my development forward. Forwards and upwards. Would have liked more feedback and input but, the nature of things is that everyone is always so busy. This means that I have to work harder on my own development through deep critical engagement. Continuously.
I have tried to include a certain amount of visual and other events in the week and, because it is degree show time as well as end of academic terms, there is a lot going on. The value of this is really to see what is currently happening, what art trends there are, not so I follow them but so I get a measure of contemporary art and its directions. The two degree shows I visited were, as always mixed. Some incredibly good work and some not so good. What did strike me though, was how the ambiance of the shows compared, both against fine art departments and within different departments. There can be a stultifying atmosphere, a sort of self-consciousness, that occurred at one of them whilst the other was alive and vibrant. why does this happen, is it the art, the space, the people, the curatorial aspect or even the visitors? The spaces had a similarity, I visited on private view nights so visitors should have been similar. The art and the artists, well, one was better than the other but given they were both student shows it shouldn’t matter. But I actually think it was how the space was curated. One had more spacing, a sense that there was little relation between pieces. Obviously in this sort of show, there are many different styles and media but there needs to be flow, a wisdom to how each piece relates to another. This will be a major point to explore and think about. I very much enjoyed Scaling the Sublimeat Lakeside Arts, this really was a highlight. Both the work and the ideas were fascinating and hope to go again before the end. The only downside was an invigilator’s insistence that I retraced footsteps rather than step over a wire which should have been taped or cabled down as the work I wanted to see was behind an installation. Felt very chastised school girl and I didn’t like it.
Summarising my activities this week, I began my work with a piece started which has been developed using line so still in the process. Not generally working in 2D, I have had to learn a lot with this work and maybe my thoughts about the curatorial has fed into this. I spent two and a half days tidying up my space. This might seem a lot, but I realise it was thinking time and an opportunity to look at old work and reassess. A highlight was definitely my conversation with artist, Linda Duvall (lindaduvall.com). I am still astounded at the way her humming resounded in my space. I have not fully evaluated the impact of this practical session yet especially in relation to the internet whines but realise that the whole thing was enormously important.
In addition, I have spent time making progress with other projects such as my collaboration with Ed McKeon. The end (?) point will be in July at Birmingham School of Art when we will create live performances. Ed will present Tacitand myself Tenuto. I have had a meeting about Honfleur Contre-Courant art exchange and a discussion with Louise Garland about our live art performance at the Open Studios in October. With only the old toilet cubicle to use as performance space, we need to be inventive but think we have the idea. I have applied for one job and managed to blog every day although this one required thinking about. I am aware that I have only outlined what I have done and this does not mean moving forward.
I understand I am an artist who likes to deeply and widely delve into ideas. This means that there always seems to be a context, a written piece with my practical showing of work. The academic and the practice go hand in hand and whilst I have often thought that this was a problem, although not for me, I have felt that it is a problem when I apply for things as often images only are asked for. Perhaps these are the proposals that I should weed out. Another thing I have learnt is that my ideas are important and interesting and I should work on these larger things rather than continually being side-tracked and prevaricating. I need to treat myself as a serious artist and work hard at my self-confidence and self-esteem. Only then will I be able to move forwards. I have a sense that I am letting myself down having worked so hard to get to where I am, not just academically with my PhD but practice as well. I have managed to get a feeling of being let down through no fault of my own which is not healthy and, I don’t imagine, true. I have not expected to be given things easily but hoped that things might just be a little more forthcoming. It has affected my motivation although I do work very hard at my artwork. Maybe I give off a sense of downtroddenness which is not appealing at all. So I have learnt, and will continue learning from this week.
Blogs in the future will be more intermittent.