This is the last week before the Bargehouse exhibition. I set up my piece in my studio last Friday so that I could set back and contemplate it, consider what might not work and really to help me answer a question screaming at me constantly…Is this any good? And more importantly is it interesting? I have become so involved, so consumed by it, spending most of my time building, nurturing and bringing it in to being, that judging it is like judging my whole worth as an artist, and extremely melodramatically, my life.

However, amongst all this worry and anxiety I am actually hugely excited. It's a welling up inside of me that have built up since I have been working towards this piece. It's an unexplainable buzz- what a selfish act it is to be an artist, it feels so self indulgent. I pay out constantly for everything, materials, transport, time etc but somehow the financial side of it worries me the least of all at the moment. I sometimes stop and think, should I be worrying more about practical things in life? Pensions, mortgages, savings etc, but nothing has a point to it unless you create one. I see a point in me doing this, any other way and I would be unhappy and I believe exploring this way is a valid process. It is so unpredictable and allows continual amazement. It keeps me unsteady in my thoughts and my views and this is where I feel most comfortable.

I enjoy looking at my work and thinking what it makes me feel/think. It has made me think about how we represent something. How an environment can be drawn, and why it should be? How complex the experience of looking and response is, how it is so reliant on us being us, our experiences being similar to the others. It's this personal, yet not, that is intriguing. We seem isolated by our personal backgrounds yet linked by them. Recognising something seems so programmed, so scientific, so categorised, so beyond our own ability to be truly aware of the reality of the experience. It's like being blinded by our own humanness. The image can never be separated from the person.


I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather this week. The times going faster and faster and I feel I still have so much to do. It doesn’t seem to matter how much I organise and plan, I still feel anxious. I can’t be in the studio today as I’m at work, so feel frustrated wanting to just be getting on. I’m sitting here listening to a discussion on the radio about anti-depressants. Everyone is so sad.

I’m finding it hard at the moment to focus my ideas. I am trying to write an updated artist statement, I have so many old ones but things are always changing in my head. Sometimes I feel like I’m trying to think about everything at once. What is my work really about? I sat on my bed last night writing random thoughts in between having dinner and going down to continue with my website. Something like this….

Object-without meaningMeaning-without objectSignals. sculpture without surfaceSolid object/solid personDying object/dying personVoid filled/void emptiedVulnerability containing powerObjects? Thought it might help. Once written down it might make sense… it didn’t.

Previously that evening I had been talking with my boyfriend about the Children’s home in Jersey and what now that building had become. Was what had happened in there been left in there. I don’t mean in the ghost sense but more in the space and what it remembers through what people now know. If two time frames could be pushed together how would the space exist? Overlapped?

Previous to this we were telling old ghost stories that I use to go round school as kid. They sounded so stupid coming out of my 25 year old mouth, but something still exists in them that conjure up the original fear and excitement

( www.christinabryant.co.uk )


I have been continuing with the drawing part of my installation, transfering the image from the studio wall on to the boards that will be installed at the Bargehouse.The weeks seem to be flying by…


Bargehouse Visit: 7th February 2008

I met Rita at the Bargehouse at about 12pm. We walked round and she talked through her initial plans for how she thinks it will all go together and where she will be placing the different art works. We had a few ideas for me but there are a lot of obstacles with all the spaces. She left me to go round on my own, take some photos and think through how my piece might translate into the various different spaces.

The Building

With its four floors ranging from white washed brick, up to dark, dingy spaces with boarded up windows and fire damaged ceilings you feel a million miles away from the corporate and business developments of the area within which it stands and are thrown back to the past and the sites history. It has layers of it housed within the walls, with its vast empty spaces and eerie silence. The higher up you get the further away from a typical gallery space it is. I find it such an exciting location that is just crying out to be utilised. There is so much to discover and explore. At 2pm a few other artists arrived to meet Rita and look round the building. It was the first time some of them had even been to the space so think it was a bit of a shock. I think the size of the building is the first thing that hits you, then its roughness. We all feel very excited about this opportunity to use this building and can’t wait to get our teeth in to the project!

Finding a space

I came to a decision with Rita to where I will be constructing my installation so went home feeling much happier, knowing that I had a real mission. It is in one of the more gallery type spaces with white walls, so have decided that using my own walls shouldn’t interrupt with the feel of the space and instead I am confident it will incorporate within it.

Next stage of making

Having the actual dimensions and nature of the space, I feel I can storm ahead making decisions and get on with the next stage of constructing the piece with a new confidence and excitement. Now is the time to get the practical planning right and try to predict obstacles that may arise with the construction.

Rita sent me through a copy of the invites and posters today to proof read. They are looking good and I think they present the show very well. It’s all starting to get really exciting to see it all emerging.


This week’s activity:

I’ve been continuing to construct my installation drawing piece. I’m pleased with how it’s coming along in my studio space but still anxious about how it’s going to work in the Barge House space. It feels almost impossible to envisage. Wednesday I’m going down to visit the space and discuss with Rita where the best place for it might be. Then I will have more of an idea of what will work and what might need working on more. I expect the space to affect the space but the uncertainty is always slightly unnerving.

So far, the response from fellow Digswell artists has been encouraging and interested. I feel doing this piece has really focused my ideas in the representation of space through drawing and the simplicity of line, altering our vision and referring to somewhere else. I have found out a lot about perspective and how all the lines relate to each other, I has not been possible to just make it by judgement of the eye like when you draw space on a manageable sheet of paper. I have had to apply certain technical rules all the way through to keep it visually working…measuring, re-measuring, standing back, altering and so on. It's a very different drawing experience, it’s all stop-start and no flow. It builds up very slowly and quite often I don’t spot a mistake until I have done a good few lines from the wrong one and then discover the last days work needs correcting.

It is an illusion but does not hide what it really is and this seems to be what builds up the tension of the image. The permanent static drawn line which you expect to be solid is the thing that bends and distorts the piece. It makes the viewer aware of the feel of real space and illusion of space represented.

Photographing it then does another strange thing because it all becomes less clear what’s happening, as it all becomes 2d again. One space is laid upon another and flattened. The photographic progress changes the experience of the piece completely. It almost makes the drawn space more real.

I am also going to build it up as more of an environment by extending it both within the wall and further into the actual physical space. As I’m working on it and seeing it emerge, lots of other ideas keep occurring in my head of things that I want to try next. I feel like I come away from the studio with nothing else on my mind but where is this going next? The questions keep surfacing.