an annual blog charting my opinions and experiences as i continue to work towards understanding myself as a person better and how this underpins my practice. there might also be some discussing and documenting my practice too.
having persuaded the dog to let me type i turn my thoughts to creating this post in which i catch up with the last few weeks. i glance over to the dog who has taken up her spot in the window to survey the passing world. i can see patches of blue within light grey sky.
another long look out the window while i contemplate the post. i’m trying to find a way in which to link back to the holiday and then reflect on the weeks since then.
for our holiday we travelled to northumberland and our week away was spent walking and taking in the stunning beaches. i played and made and enjoyed trashy tv at dinner time.
since the holiday i’ve started voluntering again in my local park, the first day included clearing some low branches of an english oak tree and i kept a little of the wood to practice more whittling.
our forest school sessions are now being run in partial darkness and this proves to be an extra level of excitement for the children. this year we’re starting to see child led ghost storey telling and i’m enjoying this alot
i’ve been working more at the museum and art gallery in derby. recently i was invited to deliver a music instrument making workshop, part of the world cultures project sharing day. i explored if a thumb piano was suitable to be made in a drop in session and after consideration and conversation concluded it was best suited to a bookable session.
for the sharing day i proposed shakers based on the shaker within the collection. i made sure that each visitor was able to make choices about shape, decoration, filling and number of shakers they made. this is in keeping with my on going practice of steam based activities. steam is pivotal within the silk mill museum of making project and i’m looking forward to taking the conversations about steam and it’s implementation further.
to finish with i have some fantastic news. last week derby museums trust achieved runner up in the heart of the community category of the east midlands heritage awards. the award was for the silk mill museum in miniature project in which collection objects were taken into a derby hospital for patients to hold and be the the starting points of conversations. the project was investigating if well being of the patients could be improved for the visit of the museum in miniature. i was part of the team that created the project and delivered the sessions on site in partnership with the air arts practitioners based at the hospital.
i so wanted the project to be the overall winner.
after processing my disappointment i realise the project is an award winning project.
feeling better about my practice, i take to my keyboard to further practice writing about it. steady progression within the non linear film commission makes me feel good about that part of my practice.
i pause to stare out of the window and try to find some inspiration to find the words to further unpack my week.
i watch a crow land on the top of the large tree i’ve been watching grow for about three years. i assume its a sycamore, although it might be an oak.
i’ve been reflecting today about how my practice facets orbit asymmetrically.
holistically the facets are important to me as they all tap into me doing things i like, enjoy and make me feel good when things work well. it’s rather like a toddler demonstrating different schema types within a free play session.
i strive to improve my confidence and this is not without some difficult periods of time. the plus point of those times is clarity of vision of potential.
something else on my radar this week has been yet more consideration of material used in realisation of ideas. currently i’m experimenting with code realised in a browser. the images in this post coming from forays into code this week. they might yet end up in the same space.
facebook this week served up a video of spoon carving and since watching it i’ve been feeling lit up. i’ve spent time on ebay researching available axes. the notion of spoon carving sits well in my making practice and i have got some experience of spoon carving via a workshop a couple of years ago. i like the thought of how my voluntary woodland management work might lead me to some material to be used to create spoons. i’d love to be able to give some spoons to those i volunteer with.
another aspect of my making is my relationship with digital making. an opportunity has been flagged up to me and i’ve been unclear if i would put a proposal together. as we head towards the weekend i am a lot more optimistic that i have something worth writing about.
the question i ask of myself now is do i make an application ?
the other question i ask of myself is do you need to set some personal targets in the three aspects of your practice so you have a means to gauge your own progression?
earlier today i felt i had an answer to the last question and i can share now with you that what i struggle with is keeping the feeling long enough to see the thing through.
i remember my disability. i remember how this is masked when i’m working within a group where what i need to achieve is defined by the group. i see in the words what i write the struggle i have working on my own. i remember how small achieveable tasks and their completion can lead to improved self esteem and confidence.
i have the means to makes things better for myself. i just need to practice them and remember its a practice.
mentally i wag a finger – not the best thing to do and somehow easing off the hard line and being more encouraging of myself is going to help me.
its been good to write this. i’m more in touch with how when all is ok i somehow am less able to see it.
i begin to meditate, to feel the seat below me, my knee upon the other and my foot on the ground.
take it slow.
the laptop screen sits brightly on my lap, the window providing some light from the mono grey day outside. the puppy has a been playing with a newly found improvised toy and later tomorrow the ipswich speedway team will work to find motivation to level with the sheffield side who rather annoyingly scored impressively against them last night. i say motivation because somehow those who control the sport have got it to a point where the sides viaing for relegation and promotion at the ride off against each other and if the higher placed win the teams remain where they are in the leagues.
this speedway connection has relevancy to my own storey as yesterday was cvan crit day derby and it left me with questions and motivation for the future.
i’ve been excited overnight thinking what to write about yesterday. where to begin becomes a pressure point, i look up to see the horizontal lines made by the rain add a further layer to my outside vista, i put on a depeche mode video on you tube and reach for my tea.
i nod, sip and look out of the window trusting that a way to start to unpack yesterday will appear out of the multiple firing thoughts generated by the afternoon.
firstly i need to comment about what it was like to be in conversation with hannah from the silk mill project in a public context, albeit in a small safe public context.
another moment of assessing the rain outside.
in wanting to write about speaking yesterday i wonder about how to share about the feelings connected with this aspect of my practice. i reflect that when i met with hannah earlier in the week to work out what this crit day thing might be and how would we respond to the invitation i was perfectly as ease and talking came easy and in that conversation we explored many wide ranging orbits of common interests and concerns. reflecting upon that meeting we arrived at the three questions together.
after yesterday i found myself reflecting about how has my imposter feeling become so big ?
yes that’s a big jump in the flow of this piece however that is in line with what i experienced from monday to thursday. now the importnat thing is that i recognise the positive energy in the imposter feeling and open myself to the observation that when i spoke yesterday everyone listened and there were empathetic nods and questions.
at an eco therapy course last weekend it was said that the imposter in us is part of what drives us to continually try to be better. certainly last night i found myself considering that if the imposter feeling was not with me would i be the person i currently am?
i’m reflecting this morning that the crit day wasn’t set up to head towards a certain outcome. the day was really successful in bringing together a varied group of practitioners and curators to discuss their practices and concerns. in the summing up of the afternoon peter bonnell of the host venue quad directly asked the artists present “what do you want in going forward from here ?” peter is the senior curator of quad.
it’s an unexpected question to be asked and like peter jones on dragons den when he sees an opportunity he really likes i took my time to think and wait before saying what my position was.
while i put my thoughts together i listened to the sort of answers you would expect to hear in response to that question. i considered what would be valuable to me, to help me move forward.
i proposed to peter and michael (the assistant curator) that what i wanted would be to get to know them both well enough so they trusted me to sit in their process and blog about it. i’d not met michael before and he’d asked interesting questions about the images i’d shown during our conversation.
there are many ‘things’ that i took away from yesterday. the most important being the importance for me to be around people and to have meaningful conversations. i never expected to leave yesterday being asked what would it take to start the peer to peer meetings again? i never expected to potentially have further conversations with a performance artist and a painter potentially interested in digital outcomes.
i’m up for all the conversations continuing because they will be good for me because in the moments of conversation like that my imposter rests and i get to be myself and experience the development and growth of ideas, aspirations and possible futures.
i must thank tim shore and hannah fox for their connected invitations to be part of the cvan week in derby, part of the cvan document project. the afternoon generated energy that i hope can be harnessed in some small way so i get to be part of something that continues as a result of the gathering.
for me from this point i am going to reconnect with the non linear film commission as i now have a working title and i’m looking forward to talking about that on my non linear film blog and the further development of that film.
my imposter seems to rest when i’m with people and talking about possibility and the potential of things yet to be done / made or created.
i add notes to myself :
you feel that the imposter feels realer when you are with larger groups of people. you might be simply be a little anxious at being with a larger group of people who you don’t know. you’re liked and what you do generates interest and conversations.
also remember to go back to the blog post in which you you wrote things for you to remember. have you remembered them ?
this mornings listening …. click me to goto you tube page
a bus bounces its way past the window, a branch of the hazel jigs and there’s further analysis of tyre wear at aragon. my saturday morning is rich with visual and audio pastries.
i’m pretty much alone as the rest of the family are off doing their thing or fastidiously working through homework and seasons of past dramas.
with myself set to write i collect my thoughts and begin to muse over recent times and those set up for the forth coming weeks. today is my first day after completing my time as lifelong learning assistant at derby museums. it was always going to be a set time for this role as the museum adjusted to those in place moving on to further challenges and install their replacements. yesterday i was so surprised by the celebratory cake, card and presents. i had not expected anything like that. i hope within my surprise i was able to communicate my thanks.
this morning i sit with a pride of a job well done and look forward to further opportunities to work with the staff at derby museums in further roles.
while feeling proud of my job well done i start to consider my preparations for the #critweek event part of Document a Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands (CVAN EM) project that “tracks and presents the everyday life of an artist.” tim shore is the local participant in document and with peter bonnell of quad has put he crit event together. time’s format has been to invite 5 curators who in turn have invited an artist to take part in a 20 minute discussion. i’ve been invited by hananh fox.
the discussion is based upon 3 images and my shortlist is below. it’s important that i have images i can talk about my practice rather than the work itself. the timing of this crit event is rather advantageous as it’s giving me a reason to take stock of where my practice is and actually what i’m seeing is that it’s in a lot better shape that i would allow myself to believe it to be. i’m questioning what methods i’ve been using to evaluate my position as i think the results are potentially falling short of the actual position.
my view out of the window this morning is one of wind blown tress, overcast sky and eldest daughter cleaning her rat’s cage. its the last week of the holidays and i’ve had to abandon plans of editing this morning.
throughout june, july and august i’ve been job sharing the lifelong learning assistant (lla) role at derby museums. i’ve enjoyed the role and just about ok with being unsuccessful at interview for the post until march next year.
the role at the museum has seen me working with the other learning facilitators of the museum, people i would rarely see or talk with. this experience has helped me to gain a bit more of a perspective on my own approach to the role of learning facilitator, one that continues on beyond the cessation of covering the lla.
in august i took part in figment derby. i went very low tech with my work fun with shapes : analog drawing machine. this work potentially can be recreated at other figment festivals collaborating with local artists and volunteers. if nothing else it’ll be a new experience for me. the worst that can happen is they’ll say no.
while in the role of lla i’ve also been filming and recording audio for the non linear film commission i have. in my last post about it i talked a bit about the process and made positive sounds about it. now i’m a little further forward i can see that at times making a non linear film is much more difficult than a linear one.
with the non linear film i think i’ve been through the hardest part of the process and now have a vision of how the film could be. i think most of the filming and sound recording has been completed. i suspect i have some specific things i want to capture and i’ll confirm this as i put the film together.
a recent development in my practice is the addition of another webspace. this is something i’ve been considering since january and a recent volunteering opportunity cohered my need for an online space. within it i can house my non linear films and coded works. it’s only a couple of weeks old so i’m still working out the details of the space and look forward to share it with you in the future.
part of my contingency thinking when applying for the on going lla role was to connect with volunteering opportunities currently available at derby museums. i’d noticed how being involved with getting out of the house and talking with people had lifted my mental health and wellbeing and as difficult this is to talk about feel it important to talk about it.
there’s something to look forward to in november. a project i was involved with last year has been shortlisted for an award. we have to go to the awards evening to find out if we have been honoured with an award.
so casting an eye of july and august i’ve been busy, seen, learnt and took part. the hope of three days a week work didn’t work out and once again i have to work hard at finding work. i felt belief in myself and my ability and begun developing a new digital space to play within and exhibit works and ideas. i’ve started to once again explore if what i’m practicing is understood by me and acknowledge that often a fragile mental state impacts greatly on what i belief i can do. being the job share lla this summer has shown me that when in a position of being able to do something i can do it and do it well.
so … i continue to practice getting into a position of being able to do something,