Survivor Guilt

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I’m making myself write this blog post.

I have nothing to write about, because ironically, nothing kills art quite as quickly and thoroughly as applying for funding for art.

The chair in the previous post hasn’t yet made it to the studio because I haven’t yet made it to the studio. There’s no wifi there, so “Going Up The Portal” with Sonia Boué means doing so from home.

We are, frankly, sick of The Portal.

The sooner the damn submit button gets pressed the better!

(Any minute now…)

When the button is pressed, we will have six glorious weeks of peace before we hear yay or nay… during which time I will have: a solo exhibition of nine women, complete with two workshops and a performance; A CD to master, do art work for and get reproduced; A recording session with The Sitting Room;  several rehearsals……..

But, although this is all art, it isn’t making new work, it isn’t getting to grips with the thoughts swimming around in my head, that have been hastily scribbled into my sketchbook, just in case they get forgotten.

Sometimes, by the time I get round to it, the things hastily scribbled are no longer relevant… my mind has moved on…


In another part of my working life, I discover I am learning things that I should have learned years ago. I’m learning in a deep and meaningful way about how other people work, think, learn. I have taught for over 25 years. I don’t do so much now, but the things I have learned over the last six months would have come in really handy and would undoubtedly have made me a better teacher.

I’m also learning that some really excellent art and design teachers I know are leaving the profession, or are close to collapse. This cannot go on, and I don’t know how to help, or what to do. I managed to escape it, and did so with my mental health barely intact. I have recovered, although certain sorts of stress get me too close to that edge again.

And I have discovered that some of us have a thing in common – Survivor Guilt.

This is totally wrong, it isn’t our fault, but we feel it anyway. We have deserted the children when they needed us, and our colleagues who needed support.

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