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Time gets used up really quickly on my day off these days, but it does at last feel as if a few things are starting to happen. Tomorrow I’m meeting my friend Chris, who, with her husband Brian, runs a Christian charity in Bulgaria, making crafts to bring back to sell in the UK.

http://www.krasifaid.org.uk/index.html The commitment they have in supporting this community is overwhelming, infectious, and inspiring.

I am hoping to go over with them at some point, to support their work and maybe get a new project going too. If anyone has any experience how I might get funding, please get in touch.

Thursday, I’m taking my “Are You Listening?” babies into Dudley for an empty shops art project: http://www.facebook.com/ForgeForwardDudley.

Also in the middle of re-hashing my website. I felt it needed a bit of a shush after the MA was done. I need help with the start of this, so my friend Briony has been here this afternoon, I have sat beside her, in the support role of cake and tea and coffee maker. It has now had the structure shuffled about, but it still needs some new writing done, so I’m going to be busy for a few days yet.

I have a few applications and proposals I’ve sent off and I’m waiting to hear back about. One of which has a real emotional kick to it, and is far more important to me than I dare admit to the people I’ve submitted to. I will probably cry if I don’t get it, but I’m trying really hard to be cool. If you have any tips how I do this, you can get in touch about that too.

The Project-To-Be I’m working on with Franny and Julie seems to be shifting along at a pace too, but any news about that will be on our joint blog GOING PUBLIC: www.a-n.co.uk/p/2133404/

My friend Bo has started a blog called “The Art of Teaching” which has sparked a load of discussion about his teaching practice. I’ve joined in, and think it’s great that he has created a forum for me to discuss my own teaching!

www.a-n.co.uk/p/2544868/ have a read – it is very stimulating and thought provoking.

So, my own blog hasn’t been paid much attention to of late – sorry folks!


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Difficult Conversations. Embrace them!

Through difficult conversations I have reached peace, insight, revelation, and inspiration!

My Best Friends don’t have difficult conversations with me, not really. They love me and they tell me and they support me no matter what. I love them dearly for it of course.

BUT… the “difficult conversation” is where it all happens in terms of my creativity and the way I express myself. The friends I have that ask tricky questions, or ask me to clarify what I’m saying, that make me squirm a bit, hum, and errrr, and welllll, ummmm, they are the stuff art is made of. It is in the difficult conversation where I feel awkward that I nudge my way through the cloudy thoughts and the woolly thinking and the ill-conceived. To have a conversation where you really have to listen to what the other person is saying, where you frown, because they come at things from a completely different angle. The end of these sessions are marvellous, and send me away buzzing with ideas. Don’t walk away from that sort of chat till you get to the bit where you’ve reached the top of the hill and can lift your feet off the pedals and go WHeeeeeee all the way down the other side.


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I’ve arranged to spend a day at The White Tree Studios in Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton next month. Belinda Longsden has very kindly said I can use some of their space. I have about 3 or 4 music/sound ideas muddled up in my head and can’t get them sorted because there are too many distractions here at home. I find the music is the one aspect of my work I can’t do when there are distractions… a messy room, the cat, the postman, the ironing, whatever!

So it will be interesting to see if I can take myself and my stuff elsewhere and be musically productive on my own. It works when I go to Dan’s place to record and work stuff out, because he makes me do it, and his level of input is huge. But I have never tried doing it by myself yet. I feel that I can… I know the ideas are there, I have words, I have sounds recorded, I have a bit of a hum in my head, and some chords Dan recorded for me a while back… I have all the ingredients, question is, can I cook up something tasty without help? I’ll let you know.

http://belindamarialongsden.com/

http://www.whitetreestudiosandgallery.com/


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I have spent a lot of time recently contemplating doing a PhD. Today I had a couple of meetings which brought me closer than ever to deciding. I wrote lots of notes about what I would have to do before I even wrote the proposal, let alone the amount of work I would have to do after. The project I had in my head was the Bulgarian idea… of which more later probably. I could do it. But afterwards, sat in Starbucks with a cup of chai because they’d run out of Earl Grey, I looked at these notes and a little light bulb came on. I’m too old for this. Well no, I’m not too old, but I don’t want to spend my time doing research, reading, filling in forms and talking arty bollocks. I want to spend my time sewing, drawing, making things, looking, listening, thinking, talking to people, collaborating, making music, listening to stories. I want to make connections of my own, go off on ridiculous tangents and come back again. I want to have shows, with friends, on my own. I want to load my shed into the back of a van. I want to stitch till my hands ache and laugh till my cheeks hurt. Bollocks to the bollocks, I’m going to stitch buttons to a sock, and put it in the post.


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Contentment is comprised of a sunny autumnal day, a pot of glue and some fabric. Tea helps too. I decided that being admin fixated and formfilling monster were doing me no good. So this is what I’ve been doing this afternoon. It is an old idea, not re-visited as much as visited… when I did the first ones, it was just a trial, then I got distracted and never took it anywhere. So a little exploration is in order today, while I get the chance. I like the idea that it will change as the leaves change and fall… one of them fell while I started to glue, so I won’t have to wait long.

I have also felt frustrated that I have musical ideas in my head that aren’t going anywhere either. I can’t seem to do these when there is ANYTHING else to do. I don’t know if this is because I hold such projects in such high regard and delight that I need to show them deference and give them the time they deserve; or if I am still so new at them that I have to concentrate fully; or that I’m so crap at them that the first attempts have to be done in secret and worked on for ages before I want anyone to hear them. My strangled attempts to sing or make any kind of tuneful noise at these early stages are dire, pitiful, embarrassing. So maybe the last one then… mostly.


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