the view from the dining room table today is one of calm trees and clear blue sky, the frost on the roofs slowly disappearing from view as the sun slowly transits out of sight. my view is accompanied by the sounds from this cercle video made in september this year.
what of this year i ask? i’ve played my part in the covid-19 pandemic that has dominated our lives in the uk since march. we all have experienced this in our own way. what’s mine been like?
for the first few months i was strong, keeping positive and carrying on. this view would later in the year be challenged as i fell into a massive corona coaster dip.
returning to the view from the window and listening to the mix in my headphones i can feel the emotions rising as i consider recent weeks – emotionally difficult for me and those around me. i managed to maintain doing things to keep a stasis. i wanted to keep myself out of a breakdown and i did.
it doesn’t really matter what i write now – it’s new year’s eve 2020 and the sun is out and we’re in a warm dry house. the animals are happy and fed, the girls are safe and probably still asleep. i’m still working on a commission originally scheduled for completion in september 2020 and in all the mixed up ness of 2020 – made an interactive documentary about a community of walker’s experiences of walking through a pandemic. the work has been featured on a blog by a recently graduated ma student in brazil.
there’s been times this year when i felt very disconnected from the processes i was involved with in january and february. as a result i’ve reflected that it hasn’t been possible to micro manage the pandemic and how it affects us all.
yesterday with the announcements of tier 4 restrictions spreading and the oxford astra zenaca vaccine being approved i did have a feeling of hope, optimism and most importantly purpose about myself. this felt good – haven’t felt like that for more weeks than i would like to admit too.
i found ten pence today. shortly after finding it, i lost a pound coin. i managed to laugh and see the beauty in the reaction. the pound had popped out the shopping trolly and rolled unseen under the stack of other trollies. my 2020 being summed up in a trolly shelter at morrisons.
i’m at the point of acceptance of how things are
how things might be in the coming months.
my musical discovery playlist on you tube ballooned this year with so much happening on line.
this is oliver. over lockdown i’ve photographed him so i have images to send to a friend via whatsapp. the images act as a catalyst to get in touch.
this is graham. since march lockdown he’s streamed a dj set every monday night. we’ve never physically met. we share an interest in creating visuals with isadora and listening to music that moves us. we chat during his set. the mix starts at 9pm on mixcloud.
oliver likes to spend time in boxes and other small enclosed spaces.
this is an image made from a sketch created in isadora, it’s one of the most recent images i have for my virtual background in zoom. the research i’m doing in isadora began thanks to the arts council covid-19 emergency funding in may – i wanted to planning for the future through researching how creating real time visualisations act as a way of grounding myself. i listen to the mixes made by graham while working in isadora.
oliver likes to drink from a tap.
i’m using public transport to travel to wirksworth and derby.
i’m using an online project management website to try to understand where i am at the moment. by this i mean i’ve become a little lost within my practice. part of this process is to understand how i feel about creating physical objects – at this time of human evolution and why it’s an important thing to do.
oliver is a cat. the affectionate times are short – compared to those of our dog florence.
oliver sleeps alot.
this is me.
i’m going through a time of self consciousness and questioning set up because i’m not in regular contact now with people and processes i was engaged in – because we’re in a pandemic.
part of my process is to be honest about it with myself and you.
inclusion mix 37 by graham.
the faithless tack was my birthday request :)
when all my thoughts combine to create no way forward i know it’s time to curl up on the sofa for a few hours and hide under a blanket.
now having done that i can continue to try to reflect upon the month and where it leaves me.
so far i am being unsuccessful again at nearly all the written applications i’ve been making. there was the interview for one opportunity for which i wasn’t selected. for the most recent application i’m hoping to be able to get some written feedback to help with the ongoing campaign to improve in this area.
while under the blanket i practice near meditative breathing to slow my heart rate and venture towards sleep. this in turn calms the fatigue driven irrational thoughts i have about myself, my practice and my future. sure i’m struggling a little but its way to early to totally write me off.
with a calmer mind it becomes possible to find a way out. always this is teppered with frustrations and disappointments – again as i vere back towards a self denigrating inner monologue.
so having spilled the inner beans i return to public facing where i am right now despite all of the self doubt currently at times over running me.
i’m still working on the non linear project for the soon in the new year to be open museum of making. the non linear project spans 4 years of the making of the museum of making and will be on permanent display on the second floor of the museum.
i’ll soon be visiting the site of the museum while under control of the main building contractor for the last time. after christmas i’ll follow the recant of remaining collection items and prepare the software of the project for its hardware home.
when not working on the non linear project i am starting to ask myself the big questions around what next, how to build on the experience and how might i evolve my practice and how i talk about it.
sitting with an unsettled feeling following a recent interview i return to this space to collect and reflect about recent times. there’s been a workshop/discussion around compassion and family in isolation and all that comes with that.
the interview was for a socially engaged project. i’m yet to hear the outcome so for now i sit with the experience and the feelings from it.
another topic within recent discussions is vulnerability. as a society are we conditioned to see this as a weakness ? certainly with a community building project i would see this as a strength. the task of the project being to build an environment where those taking part are at ease enough to be able to show it.
in recent months both my practice and myself has been through things that before covid i would not have imagined as happening. on my main website i want to update “about me” to reflect this and be an accurate and up to date about me.
—– image here ——
recently i’ve also talked about a non art project that i was interested in running but failed to get traction with it because i lacked the confidence in myself to get it started – despite several organisations expressing interest and willingness to fund. how might that have turned out if i was able to be supported from the point i opened up my vulnerability to the possibility that i simply needed a bit of support and encouragement?
—— another image here ——–
so post breakfast sandwich with coffee i sit looking out the front window and musing what was, what is and what might be.
i am connected to my inner self and in turn listening to what it’s telling my intellectual self.
—- an image here to help port to another idea ——
i now start to reflect on framework. recently i’ve been introduced to eco feminism as a theoretical framework. the notion of a framework that helps support thinking, dialogue and creativity is starting to appeal to me as a means to communicate about myself and my practice. in the recent interview having this framework to draw upon miight have been helpful for those doing the interview.
i’ve seen how the need for those commissioning to have a known outcome at the start of their project can radically hold back the potential of the achievement of the project. being overly passionate becoming a strangle hold on the situation. time will tell about the outcome of the interview. writing this is helping to processing the experience.
—– probably another image here as my thinking swings once again —
this morning i’m also coming to terms with the frustrations i’ve been experiencing while working alongside another person on a development project – non art but with creative undertones. the relationship we have is based in friction and all the way through the process i’ve maintained how i want to work – as they have too. this morning i have to say i’ve thrown the metaphoric arms up and said you know what – if you need this this much you’re welcome to it. i’ve been worn down by you enough that i don’t have the energy or willingness to keep challenging your beliefs now.
where this last point leaves me becomes a point of interest and development – potentially somewhere new.
— image here that gives me licence to link back to the title of the post —
within the about me update i intend to start to explore a theoretical framework for myself and my practice – something that is absolutely underpinned by practice – so the theoretical framework over time becomes a practical statement of intent.
something that is regularly discussed in our house is gender – the language of it and the pronouns of it. until yesterday it had happened around me and i’d been taking part in the discussion yet not fully engaged with the implications, meaning and practicalities.
for the first time within an online meeting context i’ve been invited to display my name along with my preferred pronouns. being invited set me thinking. at first not too seriously and this got me into trouble at home. so i dived feet first into the consideration of my own gender by stating my preferred pronouns as they / them.
the meeting was an online crit and in line with other groups where vulnerabilities are discussed have chosen to reflect upon the meeting from a personal experiential point of view.
the largest question i took away from the session for myself was wether the term multidisciplinary was the most accurate of all the disciplinary options available. i think it is.
i experienced how i was one of the only participants who didn’t refer to a book in some way. i do read despite my disability. it was an eye opener about the importance of reading.
i also experienced how there was a gentle migration through curiosity to time based media and an interesting discussion around that.
and the big one. imposter syndrome. i sit with this too because of the lineage of my practice – i’m practicing in a way now with much more connection to intention and expression than i did before my degree. before my degree i might have been an artist but never felt like one. i’m pleased to say now that as my confidence and belief in myself grows i’m becoming more and more at ease of saying the word artist and applying it to myself.
connected to the belief in my artist practice i’m starting to listen to myself about development steps that need to be taken. my development is slow because i generate a lot of noise for myself to consider – the curiosity in things leading me to connected yet not obviously to investigations. i’ve recently missed a deadline for a submission to something that actually had really lit me up.
note to self – be kind to yourself.
my experience of being part of the session has been a positive one. it’s confirmed for me that i can do this, be this, be successful – at a time of life that society would have had me traditionally being written off and sidelined. oh look i’m starting to open up about my elephant in the room, highlighted by the fact that i’ve a history of digging up and reforming my practice foundations over the years. i connect with how i limit myself through my thinking – perceptions playing too large a part in influencing the way i think and allow myself to be. this train of thought takes me way back to a young age where my developing brain was influenced in a manner that continues to limit me now. through being kind to myself and creating space to try, then maybe i can reprogram that deep routed routine.
if i can’t reprogram – it’ll then be about working with it and accepting it.
i add reprogram to variables – from a recent set of thoughts.
i sense if i can hold everything in one place at one time and make sense of it – my true practice potential will emerge. i have got something to say. i do have the ability to say it.