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To ring the changes I hosted a visit from Sam Wingate in my studio last week. His first impressions were favorable, he liked the space and thought it would make a great screen printing studio, although I have no such ambitions myself. Quickly the conversation turned to rent costs and frequency of visits, and the push / pull dialogue of needing a studio, wanting one, using it. Within the ebb and flow of usage, permanent studio’s can often offer credibility to an artist’s activities. “I’m in / have been in the studio” is often a sufficient statement with no further detail required. I wonder how many people wonder what artists do in their studios all day.

The space between home and studio has been beneficial of late, enhanced by the good weather. Sam I discussed the journey and the thinking time, and how useful it is. I often set off for the studio, not really knowing why I am going there, but every time I enter the space I pick up where I left off days before and connect with the work. It’s the space between visits that is important. This is similar to when I work in residency situations, its the thinking times between being on site which are equally as productive as being there.

The time and locations used to run our art businesses revealed similarities – as both Sam and I tend to run this side of creative practice away from the studio or production space. We discussed how we manage the sometimes conflicting activities of writing applications for commissions, responding to requests, seeking and creating opportunities, securing funding, keeping accounts and communications – all in amongst making the work. Its a balancing act, time dedicated to pure practice, time in the studio away from emails and meetings is a rare occurrence but I find it is worth organising at strategic points in the year. Likewise denying oneself studio time can be the only way to ensure the business of running an art practice receives the attention it demands.

We turned to the selection of work I had hanging in the space and laid out on the bench which runs nearly the length of the room. I’m in a midst of a new body of work I am still looking to extend some aspects of it however there is work ready to go. Sam and I explored options and discussed the importance of placing the work in an appropriate context.

The visit debrief happened over tea and cake and I realised there is a time when the work in the studio just starts bouncing off the walls like a never ending game of pong. Its long been mooted that work, in what ever creative form, can’t be considered as finished until it reaches it audience and so I have started to make inquiries about possible venues and Sam has generously offered to do the same.