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AUDIOBLOG – Please click here

I know I don’t usually have such a gap between blog posts, but if you have read the previous one, you will probably understand why I haven’t written!

It’s great, being given funding to realise an idea, but getting the “yes” is also a bit scary! Scary because I feel we have an obligation to deliver… not just for ACE, but also the team we have gathered around us. If you’d like to follow the project please visit :

https://museumforobjectresearch.wordpress.com

Sonia and I have spent the last couple of weeks, as well as getting over the shock, plotting and planning, writing lists of jobs, arranging meetings, visiting venues… there’s lots to do, but at least now we have the money to do it. Thank you Arts Council! We are discovering new ways to work harmoniously, and it feels good. We are an effective partnership I think!

meanwhile…

In another part of my brain is music.

The Sitting Room – my glorious band of songwriters, singers, musicians, and all round lovely people to be with – are recording four songs for a small cd/ep type thing. Having honed the songs by performing them as often as we could squeeze in, we chose four to record with the equally marvellous Dan Whitehouse (you may remember his part in the whole nine women thing?)


We had two days in the recording studio, with the highly sensitive and critical ears of Dan. Each song was looked at in detail, one had a significant rearrangement, and is all the better for it. And THIS… this exploration, critique, play, delving and diving in, this careful, detailed listening and discussion to me is worth the world. I know that other artists and musicians will understand the brilliance of such scrutiny? It can be exhausting, is completely absorbing and leaves no head-space for anything else. But I feel the love in the room… laughter, joy in the art of making something the best you can make it. Singing in harmony, both literally and metaphorically, is just fabulous. There is a light-hearted seriousness here in this group of people, born out of respect and kindness and a common goal. I feel humbled and privileged in their company.


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AUDIOBLOG – Please click here

The spirits have been lifted these past couple of weeks by art-related events, topped off with icing and cherry by the Arts Council saying yes to our funding bid for The Museum of Object Research.

By “we” I mean Sonia Boué and myself…

The original Museum blog was on a-n and gathered a conversation about it, a bunch of artists contributed to the discussion and the short story is, over a very long lunch in Leamington Spa, Sonia and I decided it would be great to make it real.

The funding is to research and develop the idea so that we have the tools, information and all the nuts and bolts in place to make another bid later on. This is a large undertaking, larger than either of us first imagined over the carrot cake and tea that sustained us from lunchtime through the afternoon…

Anyway… a few days later, the enormity of the task before us has sunk in. But I tell you what, I am so excited! This feels like a proper thing! We have gathered an amazing team of artists around us, who will make it meaty, meaningful, and most of all, REAL.

We have already started transferring the blog to a more accessible, trackable, website, so please do join in as the conversation progresses.

This “yes” also means I have a few successful bids under my belt now, either as partner and co-writer, access support person, artist, and advisor. 100% in fact. A fact I find truly astonishing. It appears I am quite good at this. Those years of writing for so many formal and informal reasons has stood me in good stead it seems. I can write succinctly and I can tell a story. The news of this success has reached many ears, and a couple of people have asked me to help them in their bid.

So here I am, weirdly, setting out my stall in a market I didn’t expect! Yes, I can help. But my time is my livelihood now, so I must charge. My attitude towards this is conflicted… of course I must charge, artists must be paid for work, skills and expertise, in whatever field they can. But also, I know that artists are not paid fairly, so they are not always in a position to pay for help… but it has to start somewhere, right? And I know that this service is actually valuable. A well written bid can make the difference between paying the bills or not. I know this because that is how I live myself. It is worth putting hours (days, weeks, months) into an application for funding, because then I can work on what I want to, what is important to me, knowing I am being paid, rather than hawking myself about for badly paid work I don’t really want to do… anyway, you know what I mean.

So… among the preparatory work and researching and developing, I am now available for helping with Arts Council Funding Applications. I have a diary, I can do planning, me!


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AUDIOBLOG – Please click here

So…

After being packed in boxes for 18 months, the bras are hanging in the exhibition space, the songs I wrote are playing into the air around them. The work was finished, the installation complete.

But actually… there could be more.

I hang the bras in a certain formation, in small groups, or a couple individually, in a certain way, and they talk to each other. They all now have distinct characters, and I have their back-stories in my head.

The conversations I have had about the work with gallery visitors, and workshop participants has opened up the dialogue though. There are other women, other stories, ideas for other songs. The configuration of these women is currently, pardon the pun, quite uplifting. I genuinely feel there is a positive vibe going on, and if you’ll pardon another pun, an element of triumph. There is scope here, perhaps, for the dark(er) side. I have affection for these nine. But there are women in the world who do not leave you feeling good. I think, when I made the work, I needed the positivity. I needed to feel hopeful. There might be room then, given that little bit of distance, to be more honest, to poke at the truth that sometimes, we women do ourselves no favours. I think there is room in this installation for a little reality, balance… I could get a bit nasty. I am stronger now than I was when I started. The world view has changed. There is a battle going on. I think therefore, this installation, with a little tweaking, and a couple of additions, could get more political. It could become a protest.

I could push it more.

I am also looking at myself with a little strange feeling in the pit of my stomach. Have I at last identified my own comfort blanket? Am I at last able to be a little more objective and critical (given a little time) about my own work? If this is the case, Bo will be proud!


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