Meeting in person at Haarlem Artspace in Wirksworth, we shared our intentions for the day and worked in our individual studio spaces. We met again for a nourishing lunch (thank you Anna) and briefly at the close of the day.
An unruly hem stopped the progress of my Tablecloth Cloak – the lining fabric causing the outer fabric to twist and hang in an odd way. The outer and inner parts of the cloak are each made of six bias cut panels using tablecloths sourced from charity shops and Ebay. Each weave is different and it’s a miracle that just one join was problematic.
I unpicked, rinsed, teased into shape, ironed dry and re-pinned the badly fitting panel and it did the same thing. Laying the large paper patten on the studio floor it was obvious that the fabric panel had distorted and I needed to start again.
Using a tablecloth I’d kept for the hood, I cut a new panel with a 1 inch seam allowance and pieced the fabric together, hand stitching to achieve the desired shape. Tomorrow I will set this into the cloak and discover if the problem is resolved.
Sitting at my studio desk I realised that by creating a residency I’d given myself permission to focus on this one task and was concentrating in a deeper way, feeling protective of my time.
Today I have been placing images of myself in the water, under bowls of water, behind tubes of water, and in puddles of water (which I unintentionally made when I kicked over the bowls).
I have been listening to podcasts about embodiment and thinking about being immersed.
Today I felt connected to the process of creating.
It feels super nice to be back in the studio today. This January has somehow felt longer than others and to have a moment to gently think about my work and the direction I want it to take has been lovely. Sharing ideas and just chatting and eating with my Haarlem peeps is just what the Dr ordered.
I decided to spend some time reflecting on a development project that I took part in last year, looking at using public art spaces in a more honest, connected way.
An Oyster mushroom biofab block, leftover from the project, has since been sitting in my porch, hoping for kinder weather.
I open it up, carefully removing the plastic mould to see what’s inside. Lovely white nougat, that at some point may be good enough to eat. I have two choices. I can soak with water and return to a sterile as can be place and allow the mushrooms to grow, or I can kiln cure it on a low heat, this will strengthen the form and get rid of any nasties. This creates a biofab brick; at this point there is no more growing and it becomes a much more functional material.
Decided to give it one last shot and soak with boiled / cooled water. I will remove the water tomorrow and put it back into it’s mould. Hopefully the mycelium will eat the rest of the straw and mushrooms will begin to form.
Exploring my archive
As a collector I keep most of the things I find. With a reduction in beachcombing and travel over the last two years I have begun to feel the weight of the accumulated archive which has become static rather than dynamic. This residency has provided me with the ‘permission’ to take the time to re-explore my archive and look for new connections. My process is methodical and without tangible products at this stage, but a necessary step in reacquainting myself with my finds, my memories and experiences, so that I can begin to re-imagine the existing collections. Sharing this with others on the residency has also introduced new avenues to explore in my practice, such as the clear but undefined ‘hierarchy of preciousness’ I attach to things and a very strong attachment to the link between collecting and visits to my late Father and where he lived on the coast.