This last week has been a very busy one. After being away from my artwork for a week I had four days to get my piece for the Jerwood drawing prize entry finished. I bought it home so I could get on with it at every avaliable minute and it did turn into a hazy four day stint, getting out of bed, straight down stairs picking up again what I felt like I had only just put down at 11-12 the previous evening. Back ache and sore fingers, it was an intensive stretch. I felt the pressure of time closing in and by the third and fourth day I would hardly stop for a drink or the toilet!
But it did get done and although there are some things I wish I could have spent more time on, I am pleased with it. It was my second house drawing and I have made some real changes compared to how I made the original one. I used thinner material and made it bigger. I also had decided to make my childhood home, which I was reluctant to do before. I think this was because I thought it might make it too personal but that was silly really, it seems houses are personal. They build a relationship with you as much as you with them. I found it intersting to see how all the different spaces which evoked different memories and associations in me, became a jigsaw, fitting together and making each space possible…how the gap over the stairs became part of my mum and dads room, how the chimney pushed into my room, how my room breathed in it's width to give my sister a little more room in her tiny little bedroom and how the old space under the stairs where the dogs used to sleep, backed on to the back of the fire so they could have a little extra warmth. Mapping this space made these thoughts rife within me.
So now that is done and out of my hands I am getting my submission for the Surface Gallery ready. I hate waiting to hear about things, I am pretty desperate for a diversion from my internal analyzing of what I did and how it might be received. It is agony and completely pointless, so as I feel is the only answer to my fear of the judgement…I move on to the next application.
I haven't been to the studio for over a week as I've been doing over time at work so feeling a bit behind things. This week I've got to finish my piece for the Jerwood and think about sending off my entry for the Surface Gallery open exhibition. I hate spending this much time away from doing my work. I did bring some home and have been fitting it in around work but it is very frustrating, especially when the shop is so quiet and I feel like I'm just hanging around all day.
One of my old uni friends is going in for the Jerwood as well. It is the first time either of us have entered so it's really hard to gauge how likely we are to get in. It's always worth a try though I guess. He was feeling down when we spoke because he had not had any success with the acme funding. All this searchng, applying, putting yourself forward, it's pretty hard to take when you care so much about what you're doing but it can't be plain sailing. Failure is character building, isn't that what they say? It makes sure you believe in yourself though because if you weren't convinced yourself, I think you would find something else to do before long. Just getting on with it, seems the best thing we can do at the moment.
I've been particularly busy this week, beginning it off by re-doing my website, it started off as a little brush up on things but turned into a massive change around that seemed to have taken ages!
Today I had a meeting at C4RD in Highbury. I am so pleased to be getting involved with this gallery. Chatting to the assistant curator about how the gallery works and what it's aims are was wonderful. 'to create a space for drawing' was one thing he said that I thought was inspiring. It is such a simple way of putting it but so refreshing. 'Making space' to do these things is so important in creating ideas. It's only a reasonably small space (prob similar to your average sitting room) over looking the railway line but it was enough to fill me with excitement at the prospect of working in it. I had sent my images through and a little explanation of what I do to them a couple of weeks ago and they got back to me shortly after suggesting I might do something for the beginning of next year, so that is when it will be. They don't deal with selling work and don't charge for the use of the space. Also, it seems pretty relaxed about the time I have to set up. It will be a site-specific piece so therefore I am given a resonable amount of time actually making in the space. This is excellent news considering the difficulties I've had with time scales recently. It is like a ideal project for me.
I am so pleased that I have been given this opportunity and also pleased I have such a good amount of time to consider how my ideas will progress as I see the project through. It will mean that my work will be shown in a gallery that is focused on what is so central to my own study. I am so interested in thier approach to drawing and the dedication to pushing it forward and challenging the preconceived notions about what drawing can be.
If you can't already tell by this post….I'm excited!
Also, sent off my entry form for the Jerwood drawing prize. So lots to think about at the moment!
The exhibition came down last week…strange feeling, but I'm now concentrating on the next step. I have a few things that are slowly coming through. I have a meeting on the 18th June with the curator from the C4RD in Highbury, which I was really excited to hear back from as looking in to the gallery I feel it would be a really relevant place to show my work. If and when and how it happens are still to be finalised. It is likely to be end of year or beginning of next. Also, hoping to be part of a group show at the Surface Gallery in Nottingham some time this year but that also is waiting to be finalised. I am therefore still applying and looking and most importantly working.
The Red Gate exhibition was in terms of my study a very valuable journey. I guess everything that an artist does, the challenges they set themselves, the pressure they place upon themselves, affects the outcomes in their work. Working in the set time frame, looking forward to and considering the presentation all pushed me to make important, essential decisions. I don't think I necessarily perform my best under a lot of pressure but I do think my mechanism for dealing with it does do something to the way I create. My concentration in what I am making and why I am doing it becomes so focused, that it diverts from other peoples or even my own expectation. What I start out imagining I will end up with seems to transform and develop so rapidly. It feels almost like recklessness (not a lack of caring, but a freedom), letting split second ideas come through, just to see what they do, that shifts everything away from a resolve. It's hard to explain, think this is the best I can do for now.
I wrote this post once, then accidentally deleted it. Having to re-write and remember the original flow is impossible. I guess there is always something special in the spontaneity of thoughts and a flatness that cannot be avoided when consciously trying to recreate them. (oh well, that's life I guess)