Not a lot to report for last week. I was working on a new piece at the studio most of the week. It’s a flat wire drawing outlining a particular view of my studio. I have suspended it in front of the studio scene, so it overlaps the scene. (It’s hard to explain and I’m really not sure how or if it works at the moment). It is one of those pieces that brings out exciting ideas and has got me thinking but is yet to be there in any real way. I need to keep working and working at the idea until I uncover how it might progress. Sometimes it really feels like excavating an artefact when I'm working on an idea, very slowly and delicately uncovering the thoughts that lead on to the next; extremely frustrating at times. I have found that so far it is only something that works when I photograph it and have that set view, and then it is quite strange to look at. I’ll keep going with it.

Apart from that I’ve been going over all the opportunity pages looking for what’s going on and what I can apply for. That seems to be the main constant cycle in my life… scan the pages, apply, wait….scan the pages, apply, wait….scan the pages, apply, wait…. Is this the best thing for me to do? Galleries?

I have felt low this week… I can only describe it as- not feeling human. Sometimes I feel that doing this leaves me standing outside real life, balancing on the brink of unsustainable, irresponsible, or maybe completely deluded. My paranoid feelings that there is an underlying opinion on every ones lips becomes like criticising voices whispering inside my head! (not in the mad sense, although I do wonder sometimes) As I sat in the passenger seat coming back from London yesterday, staring out at the rain, my mind wandered away from my usual train of thought (my work, possible opportunities, next week at the studio etc) and instead started trailing off to new scenarios… getting a regular job, nurturing my more practical skills, getting better at maths, being ‘normal’, doing something that people don’t want you to justify, something that explains itself through simple payment. I try to repel these thoughts but of course they happen.


Oh how a week can change things. So I began the week by contacting Harewood House, as they asked me to do, to discuss my thoughts about what I might do for the exhibition next year. This was followed the next morning by an email telling me that unfortunately I hadn’t made it into the final list of artists to be involved. That’s it. Over.

Now, I was a little shocked by the abruptness and also the fact that I wasn’t even aware that I was waiting to find out whether I had been selected. No selection issues had been discussed with me, even when I met them all. I was approached and invited to be involved. They have had changes recently because a curator left through ill health. This I presume, is why it has happened the way it has.

So my initial feelings where complete despair, swamped by all those very human emotions that I try not to be governed by, rejection, confusion, bewilderment, paranoia, which led to the inevitable flood of tears. Luckily I was at the studio when I got the email and another Fellow was around to talk through things with me. I calmed down and composed my zigzag of emotions.

There was nothing more for me to do. Move on. Just know at least I tried. But of course this isn’t all I can feel. I spent the weekend mulling. What am I doing wrong? Had I just completely got the whole thing wrong? Why did I not know the arrangement? It made me reflect on how some recent experiences have made me feel lately. Notably, like we artists are just 2 a penny, as the old saying goes and not necessarily treated as professionals. From my last two encounters with curators, I feel that I have been left in the dark, always guessing, been uninformed of their arrangements and plans, fobbed off at times. I have tried to be completely open and definitely accommodating, but both times seem to have been purposefully left in the dark and not able to discover this until it’s too late and have no options left.

Well the last thing I want to do is rant. I will definitely not get defeated and negative about things. From this I have learnt, ask every question under the sun and be completely sure about what they want from you. It sounds obvious but at times I have felt reluctant to ask certain questions for fear of jeopardising a chance or looking pushy. Clearly timid does not do me any favours.

The positives of the week:

1. Surface Gallery are in touch again, discussing more solid plans.

2. My blog had small appearance in this month’s AN magazine

3. Had a good day out with some of the guys from Digswell on Sunday and some good chats.

There….not all doom and gloom!


The visit to Harewood House was interesting. It was a bit different to what I was expecting but I am not really sure how. It was good to talk to the people organising it and get a better idea of what their vision is and how they feel I might be involved. It was a very interesting place, a very traditional stately home and typically laced with that hard to penetrate, ropped off feel. But once you start thinking about it in different terms, looking at what it is and how it has changed through the hundreds of years, you really do start to feel something underlying and very interesting lurking beyond it's cold exterior. It's contrast to how most of us experience the home today is bewildering. I felt that I had to focus very hard to even imagine it as a place to live. Is it merely the scale, the grandeur, the extravagance, the smell of years held in the air, that gives it this distance? I felt I had a strong desire to be in there when it was empty, just me wondering around. Maybe because it was something I knew I would never be permitted to do it.

So now I have come back home to think about how I might respond to this place and what I might put forward as a proposal. It has produced a million thoughts which are all buzzing round my head so I will get into the studio this week, draw up some plans and try a few things out.


Last week was a bit of a slow one in terms of working on ideas. It was my four day week at the gallery doing ‘real’ work and even when I was at the studio it was getting ready for the presentation on Thursday. Cleaning duties again.

Thursday did go well. We had a bit of a run through on Thursday morning and decided to cut out some bits and emphasise on others. I felt very relieved not to be the one presenting it. Steve is the natural in that area, so he took on the responsibility without batting an eyelid. Phew! We decided not to make it too polished though and throughout the presentation each artist had the opportunity to add, briefly something in particular about themselves. The format worked really well, keeping it open and natural but structured enough to not loose the thread. The actual presentation came out being the best we had done it, so we all felt pretty positive at the end.

I’m not sure how much we might get from it immediately, but the experience has definitely helped improve our confidence as a group. Before the event I think we had doubt about showing ourselves on a professional level. We were presenting to a group of people who didn’t necessarily have any interest in art and where maybe sceptical about artists and how they benefit the community, but we have already received feedback from the head of the Chamber of Commerce saying that members have commented that it was the most interesting meeting they had been to in a while. It is so positive that we where able to get ourselves across and spark interest. Hopefully this will be the start of something we do more regularly and get ourselves increasingly engaged with the community around us. We really need to raise our profile across the board and learning to do presentations about ourselves is an ideal opportunity, especially now we know we can pull it off!

Friday I spent the day at my boyfriend’s brothers house. He kindly filmed my performance piece at the open studios event, so I was having a nose. He’s going to edit it down for me, so hopefully I can get it online soon. It was so exciting to see it from outside the house. I am really pleased with how it has come out and will hopefully be able to use it to apply for new opportunities. I would like to do it again, somewhere else, to a different audience.

This week I’m off to Yorkshire on Tuesday to visit Harewood House and find out more about the exhibition they are planning for next year and hopefully how I will be involved. Fingers crossed x