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Going over old ground.

I’m boring myself now!
I look at the sketch book I’m working in and it all looks stupidly familiar.
I dig out the books I worked in when Bo and I were collaborating for ONE in October 2013. So 21 months ago… It is ridiculously familiar. So much so I was cross with myself for forgetting it.
But I haven’t forgotten it really have I? I passed over it, parked it. In those 21 months I’ve done a lot of stuff! I’ve gone global for heaven’s sake, I have chucked in a job, found three more, moved into a studio…. I think I’m allowed a little laxity of memory!

So what I’m doing now, is indeed going over old ground, but with new knowledge, freedom and a certain enlightenment of my new practice. So I’m reading through and chopping out the good bits, or at least taking photos and sticking them in the new book. This time it won’t be parked in a vast airport car park while I swan about. Nope. This time I’m going to pin it down and hopefully get somewhere.

At the moment though, it does still feel a little like old work. It’s that old chestnut about taking two steps back to take three steps forward. Generally, I am a woman in a hurry. But there’s something about this seam of work which makes me want to take it slowly and carefully really…. I feel it is important to whatever comes next. Fundamental. Foundational. Functional. It feels like the Nitty Gritty.

At this point I have to say again how grateful I am to Arts Council England. The funding from them for nine women is being spent sparingly, I am hoping to make it last for ages… Shored up by other occasional earnings. Herein lies my luxury… Time. I spend little cash, but spend hours in the studio, not having to worry too much about money. (I’m not solely living off ACE, I am also sponging off my husband) I know I am fortunate, and am grateful for it every day.

This time-luxury allows me to go over old ground, digging over old ideas and stretching metaphors to breaking point.

My ideas are currently a little confused… Three or four topics overlap and befuddle me. I may have to do a Venn diagram again to sort them out. Large paper! Felt pens! Instruments of mental clarity!
Then hopefully out of this, something will germinate and grow. (Can’t help myself)

I am already stitching. I don’t know if what I’m stitching is a good thing, but it will undoubtedly serve its meditative purpose, as I read through and let things settle in my mind.

Anyway… This week I am handing over my sketch book to other people, and I’m also going to post some photos of pages here. It’s a bit exposed, and rather scary, but it’s time I added other people’s stories into the compost heap of ideas (sorry, I’ll stop now).
The reason I’m doing this is to open it out a bit, allow other people to rub off on me. That is where the work is headed, so I might as well walk it as well as talk it…
What I would like is for people to respond to things, add in comments, their own stories, opinions and challenges to my assumptions. In the real sketch book I’ve put extra bits of paper, post it notes etc. Here I will post a few select pages and see what happens. If you are able to comment here, please do so, if not there’s always Facebook and Twitter as usual…

A few notes about how things appear in my sketchbook… I don’t know why I feel I have to justify, but here it is anyway… Sometimes I write things in a peculiar way, because then it takes longer to write the words. This is sometimes for words used as titles, but also for phrases I feel I want to think about. Slowing down the writing slows down the thinking. Some of the writing will become lyrics. Some form notes for making, and it’s all jumbled up together. Colouring in happens for the same reason. It is meditative, and not solely for the purpose of decoration, although I do like the way some pages look. I have tried to choose pages that are interesting to me, and therefore might elicit a response… There is an element of embarrassment doing this sort of thing, so I have also chosen pages that are less cringe-worthy…. I hope.
Anyway… I would be thrilled if you took the time to nose about in my book, and absolutely delighted if you felt there was something worth responding to.

(For some reason, in the process of loading some of these photos have turned themselves upside down, I’m in the process of trying to find out why, will alter as soon as I can, sorry!)