i woken this morning to the realisation that i’m in the depressed portion of the grief curve – set up by the loss as a result of the response to fighting covid-19.

all i could do at the time was to acknowledge and be in the moment of that feeling.

i get the need to carry on.  i get that projects that span the pandemic still need to be worked on.

going to keep this short – trying to blog about the situation is adding to it – too soon to be reflective.




sitting with many feelings set up by the current covid-19 lockdown.  one of them to do with the non linear project, one of them about what my need are as 2020 progresses and how might the  confinement and isolation residency blog advance today.

my needs for 2020 are around reducing the feeling of intellectual isolation – a need to connect with a community that nurtures me and provides an environment for me to grow further.  in my thinking i currently project this out to others to do for me.  i admit to myself this isn’t going to work and actually all that happens is i get angrier and unhappier as what i need isn’t being provided by others for me.  i could ask – but the communities i’m part of aren’t set up to help me, in fact they are communities that look to help others.

isolation is something i’ve felt for a while so going into lockdown didn’t seem that different at first.  i was of course helping and supporting those at home as there were some really big things that took place for them. as this week has go on i’ve felt the effects of the lockdown and an emotional level connected with the feeling of grief over what’s gone away from my life.

i’m waiting now for news of possible lockdown extension – this will help me to relax.

the other news i’m waiting to hear is the if any possible delay to the opening of the museum of making.  i have an on going project connected to this site that currently i am still working on on the basis of the timeline remaining unchanged.  i hope to hear something in the next few weeks.

i find myself asking those big questions of myself and my practice

  • what am i making
  • why am i making it
  • what happens to it
  • who is it for
  • what does it do
  • does it need to do anything
  • why do i feel it necessary to making something that has varying states
  • am i expressing anything
  • what am i expressing
  • where do i fit within the wider community of artists
  • do i feel like an artist
  • what does an artist feel like
  • why do i want to express something anyway
  • am i simply doing something to keep my mind active
  • what are my needs anyway
  • how do all these questions feed into bolstering my confidence
  • do i move to support so to avoid making my own decisions and work
  • do i care too much about what the outcome will be like and how it might be judged and seen to fit
  • am i confident in my own intellectual ability
  • what mediums do i want to use
  • what is my relationship to the natural world and how might it be represented in my practice output
  • where do communities feature in my work – talking to people is something my dsylexia makes me good at.
  • am i looking for something in my practice that is rooted in the past and needs to be cleared to free up myself
  • how might my dyslexia feed into what i do and influence my confidence
  • what other considerations might there be in terms of how my confidence is wobbled
  • am i emotionally led rather than intellectually driven
  • can an art practice be maintained via emotional drivers alone
  • do i feel better for writing all these out

and what of my needs…

to be in a community that gives me a sense of being held.  when i add something into the conversation it’s meant with open ness that encourages me to explore it further and see actually is it something i want to investigate to take further?  i need somewhere in my life i feel like i can learn again to take risks, to explore why i don’t what to do things – to challenge my own self.


i have work to do.




where to start ?

at home, sofa bound for now looking at my laptop screen – the elephant in the room being so big it’s affecting everyone.



the first track is helping me to reduce the scale and reflect on where i find myself today – at home with all the family, newly arranged plants on the dining room window sill looking inviting and aesthetically pleasing in the sun.

so at this point i want to put down my laptop spread the entire living room floor with a massive sheet and throw paint around – for no other reason than i’m having to work so hard at holding it together at the moment. agggghhhhhhhh aggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhh fdsjguewqfqnvevbei vu3h83nuc 221-1u38591y18§. !!!!!!!!!!!!!


two and a half months into having a studio space and later today i’ll be collecting resources from it to be able to work from home again.   i have absolutely no idea if i’ll be able to do the work i need to do because the rest of the family are also at home and have their own projects to do keep their lives going.

i want to be the person on the roof arms outstretched looking skyward and dancing to the beat.

as i now bounce my head to the beat tears emerge and i close my eyes.  the camera shot pulls out and the city skyline appears.  i’m so being taken back to another time by listening to track 4 and it feels so much of a release.  through the tears i look again at the sun drenched window sill.  the beat kicks back in …



from this low point i can pick myself up.  its the new norm isn’t it.  the frequency of low points being way higher now.

its a covd-19 planet for now.

so many questions being rapidly asked.

of myself i’m asking new questions of myself about my disability.

last friday with self care in mind after speaking with a male friend i really value, i took myself and the dog out for a walk.  it wasn’t the first time i was aware of the reduced road noise in the fields near where we live.




the disruption of what life was to what it is now, albeit temporarily, is causing those close to me concern, anxiety and stress.  all of which i have done my best to support.  for the coming days and weeks i hope that all three might reduce as we all research what life now might be like.

there are some very fast out the blocks ideas for things to do to “deal with the boredom.”  my personal view of this is these additional things to do are likely to be more needed in a couple of weeks time.  at home we’ve witnessed emotional times akin to grieving .

we have twins who were until last week expecting to sit gcse exams later this year.  a whole other layer of support.



earlier i spoke about the realisation of the reduced noise out in the fields.  this and a zoom meeting with 5 people on friday have left me feeling more connected to my needs as a person with dsylexia.  i still don’t fully understand how it affects me as up to monday of last week i have been continually putting effort into being part of the thing that is life around me.  now what life is has been infected, i find myself with space to be.

while out on my routine building dog walks i’ve started to imagine a work – non linear – in which i explore, research and express what my dsylexia is.

listening to the patrick stuart speaking shakespeare on twitter i connected to how the actor delivery speed of text helps me to stay with whats being said.  the zoom call last week demonstrated the antithesis of this.

i wonder about zoom based peer to peer meetings …

i’ve been composing this for so long that the track playing is 12a.  i’m feeling quite pleased with myself as i have come up with an idea.  the non linear work can be started during my covid 19 residency.   i think i need to make this idea open source so others can be part of the their own covid 19 residency.


i speak of my covid 19 residency like i have no other projects happening.  this is so not the case.  there are some that are on temporary hold and i look forward to doing what research i can for these.  the main commission i have for the museum of making can be still worked on at home and later today i will need to begin negotiating with the family about how might i work at home in a way in which it doesn’t inconvenience or impose on them.  i need to be gentle here as they are still coming to terms with their own altered circumstances.


just with any new residency, i need to work out where i am, when the toilet is available,  availability of workspace, where i can go to  think, what i might research and most importantly, what the other people here are like.


#optimism is high.


these are words i need to set down in this moment as my mind is a wash with thoughts with no outlet.

this morning i saw a tweet about a man who was not at a football match because since the last home game he took his own life.

we live at a time where the newly developing corona virus is starting to cause concerns and issues – monies being out laid with prospect of the intended return not being realised.

in my own land i’ve tried to raise a flag to alert those around me of m y situation.  i really just need to talk, but there’s no one available to listen.

i’m not surprised there’s so much male suicide – any suicide actually – as it’s possible to go for months asking for what you need from others and the others not being able to give that.

anecdotal research needing to be replaced with qualitative work.

the land i’m in at the moment is familiar.  historically then scenery shifts and all becomes ok again.  there is an orbit though.  it takes effort to maintain the same orbit.

what happens when orbit maintaining fails ?

i can only look to others for the answers or the energy to maintain it.

energy from within ?  yes.  tiring and hinders progress.  another circle.

part of life.

perhaps nothing can be done.

apply the support.   dig deep inside.  be ever optimistic.

try to relax.

try to be in the moment.

feel feet on the ground.

arse in the seat.

the back supporting weight.

listen to breath and a rumbling stomach.  cars outside the window.



easing the self talk.

easing the obsessiveness of the finding a solution of the thing that is out of ones sphere.  being able to wait.  being able to be calm.  being able to wait to be heard. to trust that there will be someone who listens and doesn’t take away the thing you want to do.

to be encouraged.

to feel self worth.

to feel a part of a supportive team, where talking about what is problematic is ok and supported.

to carry on, smiling,  like nothing actually is the matter … all is ok.



in my recent to do list i wrote

  • blog post reflect about studio life – my needs as a practitioner

about 6 weeks into having a studio space now and it’s helping me to think differently about my practice and myself.


(the live version of this song is amazing !).


weaving my time in the studio around other work commitments is proving tricky.  it’s caused me to reflect upon why i’m having to do this.  put simply its that the commission i am currently fulfilling cannot sustain me financially on it’s own for the duration of the commission period.  so i need to take other work on to meet the financial commitments and to be able to enjoy my time while not working.  it sets up a need for multi tier consideration about where my practice is right now.

in taking on the second it affects when i can work on the first.  this sets up a tension in me that affects all aspects of my time.  layer in politics of the second tier work and again i’m affected in the first.

the relationship with the tiers is kind of tidal and cyclic.

net affects are i spend grabbed moments to reassure and re-motivate myself.  the scary thing is later this year both tiers are potentially at an end.  certainly the first will be complete.

with this in mind my time at the moment is also having to consider what i might be going on to do – certainly post commission.

in the socially engaged practice book i’m reading at the moment, the author has commented that socially engaged projects are all potentially one offs.  it’s helped to read this as it makes sense of the feelings i’ve been having in relation to how might i repeat this work.

what i can take forward is the experience of the working with people and the recording of their stories and their movements.  then how to present and share them.

something i started to look at before the year clicked forward was how to get more out of my dslr.  it has video capability and had struggled to get my head around how to best use it.  through online research i made some decisions about what to do.

then along came an opportunity to work with / collaborate with research student christine thomas.  wanting to extend an aspect of her current research we worked to create a short video piece of work.

recently this work has been shown to a crit group and phd supervisors.  the feedback i got from christine about what the phd supervisors said was quite surprising.

in considering what might i do next the potential to study more has come onto the radar.  possibly an ma in fine art.

at the supervision meeting where the work was seen, the comment i got feedback was “i don’t think he needs to do an ma.”  that’s a compliment right ?



i’ve really enjoyed putting the images from the collaboration up together : )



the comment has allowed me to take a step back and connect to the feeling of being scared about ma study.  scared because of the expectation to read and write lots about my practice and where it fits within the contemporary art world.

the crit night we went to was led by an ma graduate and their view of the world was quite narrow.  it’s slightly put me off the idea of study; however, this is only one person’s point of view.

taking a moment to really connect with myself over this, its the holding a mirror up to myself that is the potential point of pressure.  i’m a little scared of my own potential – at least delving deeper to explore it.

up to now i bounce between disciplines so i can keep options open and a multiplicity of work opportunity.  in focussing in on an area it leads me into an unknown and out of my comfort zone.  so this is good yes ?



the title of the post involves need.  the biggest of this is to be connected to other people.  the quality of this connection is also important.  in tier 2 at the moment i have a connection that is wholly unhealthy – at the moment anyway.  i’m having to consider matriarchy as a thing.

so quality of connection is important.

oh look there’s a thing i need to be focussing on !

i sit up and look at the wall.  to get quality connection the place where i am needs to be of quality too.

i leave this question for myself :  are you thinking highly of yourself to attract higher quality connections ?

a good place to leave it for now : )