My practice is like a jigsaw at the moment. Broken up in the box. A few pieces are down the back of the sofa. A couple of bits look they belong to a different puzzle. It’s a hospital waiting room sort of puzzle. It occupies for short periods, destined to never be completed.
I crack on, tackling what I can when I can. That bit of sky in the corner… The long green dress of some mad woman with a bonnet and an apron beckons, but there’s a crucial bit missing.
Analogy pushed to the limit of good English and sanity…………
My search for a studio continues. A rush of activity is followed by a period of stagnation and waiting for email and phone call replies… Meanwhile… In a crowded, box-filled dining room, I sit with my back to the detritus, pretending it isn’t there. The microphone stand mocks me, poised, about to peck at the back of my neck. The looper, on its stand, is covered with a bit of French fabric… Yellow, woven, jolly squares, trying to blend the technology with the homespun. It illustrates my constant oscillation between two worlds, trying to blend them. The words I sing blend them. But if I’m not singing, it just looks incongruous.
I sit with my back to it all, and enter the Jerwood Drawing Prize. Actually no, I don’t. I register, and print out forms, and fanny about. Indecisive.
I write a pretentious proposal, print it out, rip it up.
I stitch words onto the detached shirt cuff. I’ve already lost faith in the relevance of the words, and I’m able to stitch without reading them, so it’s little more than occupational therapy. But I continue anyway. The process is nevertheless meditative and hopeful. It’s a bit like colouring in at this point. I just follow the lines and don’t think. Sometimes a word foists itself into my conscious mind… But I have to dredge deep for the meaning out of context….character…..bone….stranger….. blind…. The individual words seem to mean more than the complete text. Redaction distils.
I write words. For blogs, emails, admin, shopping lists, facebook and twitter. They don’t mean much. I write another verse for a song. I give in to tradition… Verse, verse, chorus, verse, middle eight, chorus (repeat)… I hum a top line and record with my phone in order to play it to the guys next meeting.
I’m rehearsing the songs for Nine Women again. (On and off) Those women… How I love them, how they sustain me!
In amongst all this sits the next BIG IDEA. Sonia Boué and I have been discussing turning the online Museum for Object Research into something real. This was a speculative conversation that has grown. We both decided if we are going to do it, it’s got to be big. No, BIG. We feel this could be a really important piece of work. A pivotal event that pushes on our practice and hopefully will have an effect on the practice of several other artists. It would have a solid theoretical, critical basis and leave a legacy. I’m glad we are in it together, because at the moment it is a monumental task. And shit scary.
I’m off to do a bit of colouring in and do a bit more of the jigsaw.