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Feels like ages since I posted, but it has been a week that’s all.

But it is a week that I have spent “Working for The Man” as my friend Laura puts it. The Man in question being Birmingham City University. So in the scheme of things, not dreadfully arduous, and in many respects, extremely exciting and inspiring: leading four artist-teacher-students in various states and through various times of trepidation and terror into a place where they can re-engage with their art practice. If you are an art teacher, or know one, who is feeling a little squished by The Man, they could do no better than the Artist Teacher Scheme at BCU. It has the potential to be life-changing. It changed mine, and now I’m back, temporarily on the other side of the table, leading it. It is a real privilege to catch the expressions of fear that turn into pride that turn into light bulb moments of realisation and joy, then back to terror as they realise the world could be the other way up if they let it happen…

All that aside though, doing four such intense days all in a row, even as leader rather than doer, has been exhausting, physically, intellectually, and emotionally. I have possibly related too closely to these students… that could be tricky.

The drive to and from, either up the M5/6 or into the centre of Birmingham has been a blessing and a curse. The time/concentration buffer is useful between work and home, but the journey also tiring. Each night I have come home to a variety of bath/pyjamas/wine/take away… then bed for fitful sleep. People often comment on the times of my emails…”Did you REALLY send it at 3:57?” “Yes… Yes, I did”

So today, I reset…

I’m back at ArtSpace Dudley for the final week of “nine women”. I’m at the workshop table downstairs as the music plays upstairs… as I type this, the lyric “Too old to be cautious, too young to be wise” drifts down the stairs, and I dedicate it to Karen, Chris, Melanie, Lisa, Carol, Zoe, Elizabeth, Jo and Sarah… thanks for a bloody brilliant week!

 

CAUTIOUS (click here to play)

I’m too old to be cautious
And too young to be wise
I see it all clearly
Through clouded eyes

It’s like watching a replay
I can only run slow
There’s not a great deal of difference
Between my stop and my go

But I’m not going to hold back
Not going to be shy
I’ll say what I want to
Before I die

I’ll throw it all to the wind
Watch me fly by
There’ll be more time for caution
After I die

 


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