Started out his week thinking I had a long week to get on in the studio, working on my pieces for the upcoming show. It hasn't quite ended up that way. I've been asked to work an extra day at the gallery and felt I couldn't say no after last week getting a letter telling me my studio rent is going up in May and then again in August, plus a letter reminding me how much my student loan currently stands at and another telling me how much I will be taken out of my account for my car insurance. Next few weeks comes it's MOT and the final payment to the Red Gate Gallery, Van hire, materials, etc, etc, etc…………it is endless………. Unsurprisingly I agreed to do the extra day.
So I've tried to use my time productively, hunting out new opportunities that I might apply for, scanning through MA course descriptions, reading recent articles that might be of interested and so on. I feel a little bit like I'm going blind after such a long day starring at a computer screen and not sure if writing this is the answer, but I'll blink on watery eyed and squinting.
Tonight I'm off to the first of a ten session digital photography course with North Herts College. Hoping to brush up and extend my knowledge further. I seem to be using photography such a lot now so I feel that I need to be clearer with the technical side of it.
While I've been sitting in the shop today, I have had new ideas come in to my head that I want to try out when I get the chance. I have started to think about the building up of a drawing as a performance. How the physical doing relates to the images in the end. Planning/adapting/interpreting/altering as it builds up. Have also thought about the scale of my pieces how making smaller/larger and how this will affect how they are viewed. Also, fragmenting an image/changing perspective/partially distorting etc. I really need to get on and play with these ideas.
Back in the studio for this week, so have a few things planned… or trying to have a focused plan anyway. There are some new artists moving in this week so new faces around to meet and greet. One woman who is in the process of moving her stuff in is in the middle of her MA at Goldsmiths. It was good to talk to her about what it is like there and how she is finding the course. I have started to think about doing an MA in the future, possibly when my time at Digswell has ended, so I have been trying to gauge feedback from artists who are or have done one and what they thought/think of it and how it has help their practice.
I'm not sure how I feel about doing an MA. I would love to get back into the whole process of gaining good critical feedback on a regular basis and discussing and debating ideas, gaining knowledge and building on my practice, but it's the institution idea that I'm less keen on. I think I need to think on it all a bit more and definitely explore the different courses available. At the moment I feel like the experience I am gaining by being more independent is valuable in helping me find my own way a little. I felt blind when I came out of University…. tumbling down off of a huge cliff with no idea how to be what I was ‘an artist' with just a vibrating in my head of what I'd learnt in the last 4 years. I only very slowly now am starting to get a feel for my place as an artist and to stand up for myself and my ideas in this field.
I have been continuing with my work for the Red Gate Gallery, looking at ways of presenting a new piece I have on the go. Can't decide yet if I love it or hate it or even worse something in between. It may be for the show or for the bin!
Digswell fellows meeting, was positive. We seem to all agree on the fact that things do need to change quite drastically for the Digswell to survive and for it to gain some kind of reputation within the art world. A lot of what was said was answers to how we could move forward instead of just moaning about how things are now. We have a kind of action plan and conveniently have a Trustees meeting coming up on the 22nd April where we will put forward our ideas for changes.
It really made me realise that it is actually the fellow's responsibility to be proactive and positive about the trust. We have all been for too long sitting back and expecting to just be part of a group and not building the group. We should have been putting in the time and energy to direct activities that build on the trusts development. I guess better late than never is the key now.
A side from this my work towards the Red Gate Gallery exhibition feels slow. I have been trying to not finalise anything and just continue with my work so when it comes round to the pieces I put in they are fresh and exciting. I don't want to fall comfortably in to doing and not focus on the ideas that I am dealing with. It's a balance between staying focused but not be tempted to conclude things. I need to remain playful with my exploration and allow the questions to keep coming.
I can feel pressure mounting in my head at the moment. I got that awful feeling of dread this morning that I hadn't felt so much recently. Think it's a combination of everything building. I'm never comfortable with stress but shying away from it won't get me anywhere. I'm hoping that a hardening in me will happen or maybe just getting use to it as a way of life.
Last Sunday the Bargehouse exhibition ended. I spent the day around the show and had some really interesting discussions with visitors on that last day. Specifically memorable was a blind group that Rita had invited to the show. I was around photographing my work as they went round and therefore could discuss what my I was exploring and could get feedback. After they had been round there was a conference organised where they could discuss the show between each other and we were able to sit in and contribute to the discussion. It was a very positive activity and allowed me to really think about how art can be experienced in other ways. I had positive feedback from them and found it so interesting that for a piece that is completely about how we see things, someone with no sight could get an affect from it. It did provoke a long discussion about how we experience things and how it is changed when we don't have a particular sense. How does in restrict the perception of something and how does it heighten it?
Since last week I have started working for the next exhibition, ‘Living Space' at the Red Gate Gallery in Brixton. I made a visit to the gallery on Wednesday. It is just me on my own this time which as well as being daunting is also very exciting, allowing me to have more control over how and what I show.
Also going on at the moment is a feeling of shifting at the Digswell Arts Trust with the fellows. After a round of interviews for the vacant spaces things have been thrown up in the air with a real clash of views between fellows and trustees, which highlights some serious problems. I won't go in to too much detail at such a sensitive time but we have a fellows meeting on Tuesday to gauge how all artists are feeling and what we think needs to be addressed. It comes after a time where we were feeling that things were picking up. I am eager for us to use the momentum of late while it is still with us to push the Digswell forward, as many of us believe it so desperately needs.
Time and energy will tell…..