The plate spinning was a useful metaphor. What I’m finding interesting is the smashed plate and how I end up seeing it…. And how others see it…
“Oh you must be terribly disappointed? No Jerwood selection and no studio!”
Well for one, I never thought I would get selected for Jerwood. (Although I don’t think the bra I entered made it out of the box.) But nothing ventured and all that. I was dreading the traipse back down to London, until Jill Hedges said she would join me. Trudging out to Wimbledon with her was my Not-Jerwood-Prize. We talked of life experience, childhood, issues of trust, the work, and the words… Each other’s, other people’s… Our practices and ways of going about things… We worked out a couple of things… Gave voice to barely formed connections… It was brilliant. The two hours or so on trains and the three hour lunch flew by. The journey home in the quiet coach allowed contemplation of our explorations and discussions. So instead of coming home weary, I was renewed and exhilarated.
Secondly, new studio: if I had got it, I would have made it work, it would have been a brilliant space to work in. But there were compromises that I’d thought about long and hard… So the “No” didn’t disappoint as much as I might have anticipated. Also, the process, much like the journey to London, opened up a side-line conversation that has resulted in an offer to share a space elsewhere. So having dashed a couple of my Sunday best plates to the floor, I find I’m happier with the resulting mosaic.
And then there’s the songwriting. I had a day songwriting with Michael Clarke. It was a privilege and an absolute blast to work with him. We are going to do it again. We wrote three really different songs with absolutely no purpose in mind at the time of writing, other than the joy of making. Organic, natural, follow your nose making… It is rare to find people happy to spend their time that way…. Trusting the process…. Another day sped by, even the lunch break was spent at a local bar/restaurant with paper, pen, muttering and humming. We would have been an interesting pair to eavesdrop on!
I’m about to start off teaching and mentoring another new group of artist teachers next week. We always talk of the toolkit of what they will need over the next year. I hope they find the joy of just making. I hope they find the knack of seeing what surrounds disappointment as a successful outcome. I hope they come to love and trust their process.