I've recently been running some workshops for young people that have involved using mud. The preparation of the space (not by me) has been reminiscent of an alien autopsy lab ..... the floors and tables covered with thick plastic sheeting to 'protect' the room. At the end of each session I've bagged up the slightly soiled plastic sheeting with thoughts of sculptural pieces. Having brought them into the studio I've added dirt to them and began working with it on a large scale, something I don't often have the opportunity to do.
The view from the studio that has inspired so many artists is other-wordly - It's almost unreal. Every time I look up I am taken aback by the picture perfect postcard view of St Ives, every minute a photo opportunity, but is it really the reality of St Ives? I've decided to muddy the view, to cloud the perspective, to dirty up what appears to be so perfect. Echoing a project I did recently with artist Jonty Lees ( https://circuit.tate.org.uk/2015/04/popping-up-in-penzance/) where on the first few days of taking over an empty shop we played with windowlene on the windows, making patterns, doodling with our fingers in the white wash, viewing the street from a hidden perspective I've decided to do the same but with dirt. I feel a set of alternative Dirty Postcards coming on .....
The traces that other artists have left behind. I've spent most of the day photographing the floor and the wall - not sure what I will do with the images, just a nice record of who has been before and what I'm noticing as I take in my new surroundings.
Moving into the beautiful Studio 9 of Porthmeor Studios, St Ives at the very beginning of the Easter Holidays has meant I'm easing in gently. Due to other commitments I am unable to throw myself into getting on with 'work' in the studio just yet. Although at times this makes me feel a little panicky (time here is so precious - I'm only here for 12 weeks) it has also taken the pressure off a little. I'm just familiarising myself with the space, getting it feel 'just right' (sofabed in place, a fridge has been donated to me, an opportunity to relax in here with friends and family).
Re-reading my proposal to be here has been good purely from a reassuring perspective 'an opportunity to recharge and evaluate' lessens the guilt as I sit typing this intermittently staring at the sea. In my proposal I've focused on creating a 'Dirt Lab' - all things dirt. "2015 happens to be the UN Year of the Soil. Although my work is more about the Dirt and Soiled rather than the wholesomeness of soil, the 3 months at Porthmeor will allow me the space and time to explore the matter through reading, investigation and experimentation'
I have no idea what these 12 weeks will bring. I aim to host a 'Dirty Weekend' later on in June with fellow artists who enjoy working with not only soil, but dust, dirt and all materials that could be linked to Soil.
I always love a peek into fellow artists studios, seeing work in progress and ideas being played with.