As part of the Soil Culture Forum (organised by CCANW & Falmouth University) I have been asked to install "Dirty War" in the exhibition that will accompany the conference. This is a strange experience for me, many of the works I have made over the years cease to exist after exhibition, either swept away or broken apart, they were not made to be permanent. Dirty War however, was packed away in boxes, oddly for me, labelled with exactly how many dirty soldiers were in each box? The formation from when I had it installed at Newlyn Gallery was based on a starlings murmuration. My studio is in Marazion and my journey is often treated to the wonderful display of starlings coming home to roost. It seemed fitting at the time of creating Dirty War, to place these soldiers in a irregular pattern that echoed the formations of the starlings coming home. The space in Falmouth University was very different to the gallery, but I still felt a need to install them in this sort of format. It felt good to revisit this old piece and glad to be showing to a different audience. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the works within the exhibition l
I'm having 'one of those days' - I'm sure we all have them. I have them more frequently then I'd like to. Days when I finally get into the studio and then question everything. I examine what I was last working on with the critical eye of someone who hates contemporary art, who doesn't 'get' it and can't work out the 'point' of it all. My inner critic is horrid, and I'm sure not helpful at all. I know if I met my inner critic, properly, face to face I'd have so much to say to her about the importance of the arts, how artists work and how we develop our practice, I'd also not want to see her again, clueless critical objectional creature. But she appears without my invite into my studio and has so much to say about it all, all negative of course. I could ignore her but instead I let her get to me and I then too question what's the point of it all, what the hell was I thinking of when I spent all of last Wednesday sieving that mud to make 'THAT'?! How on earth is this benefitting anyone but myself (and on many days I wonder if it does even that?)
I've driven here today in a van that's gearbox is on it's way out, I shouldn't be driving it, it lurches into neutral whenever it feels like it (usually on a roundabout) and drives along as if it's in 1st gear the entire time. When I parked up at my studio, the burning smell from it's poor little engine was overwhelming. All that just to walk into the studio, for the second day running, and sit and question everything. I've been so wretched to myself and my artwork today (and yesterday) that I've had to open up the laptop and start writing in the hope by ignoring my inner critic she'll just sod off.
I don't often come onto my website, I should do more, I need to update it more frequently, it might even help. Updating my website is all part of my job as an artist and yet I know when I leave the studio today I'll still criticise myself for not 'making anything' or 'wasting' my time. It's true, the networking, the updating, the opportunities search/application process usually happens when I'm not in the studio, normally at night. A studio day is an opportunity to get dirty, to experiment, to put on my overalls to feel like a 'proper artist'! Ha, if that programme "What do artists do all day" is to be believed that is all we would do, indulge in the studio and create, however it doesn't work like that, and the comfort I get is knowing that all the artists in my life don't live their lives like that, they juggle other jobs, or use precious studio days to get the car to the garage, buy those belated birthday presents, get some food into the empty fridge, attempt to organise accounts and then follow up those emails etc ...
Am I complaining? No, I couldn't imagine living any other life and I'm blessed and thankful most of the time, I'm just having 'one of those days' which I know when I get home (if my van makes it) I'll look back on and kick myself for wasting it by moaning about it on here. Such is life and tomorrow is another day.
I always love a peek into fellow artists studios, seeing work in progress and ideas being played with.