And here we are again.
I think I’ve learned something, and the cycle of work spins, and a few months later I find I have to remind myself again and go …”oh yeah, this!”
I’m working on the research and development stage of The Museum of Object Research with Sonia Boué at the moment. We have Arts Council funding, and this is a wonderful thing. I really appreciate the opportunities afforded me by ACE since I became a full-time artist. They really are an amazing institution.
But getting funding comes with a responsibility to deliver. To work hard. Which of course we are. We are developing a fascinating collaborative team practice that is informing both of us about our working methodologies. We are thinking about the project, sending emails, writing press releases, proposals, ideas, statements, lists, budgets, tasks…
This week I think I had a sort of mini-migraine that started with a twitchy eye thing, made worse by driving across Birmingham city centre and out the other side and back. a thirty(ish) mile round trip that took two and a half hours. Horrendous. The trip wasn’t project related, but of course affected my ability to do much for a while. While I lay in a darkened room I reminded myself that one of the ways we have decided to work is to keep an eye on pace. So, I wrote a list, and worked on it, crossing a few things off. And then I stopped.
What I realised, and I know I have said this here before, is that you can actually spend an awfully high percentage of your time as an artist, not actually making any art. I actually suspect you could get up into the high 90s before anyone (including yourself) noticed you hadn’t made anything for months!
But this state of affairs is not why I gave up working in a school, this isn’t why I became self employed freelancer… I want to make work!
So, for a couple of hours Thursday, Friday and today, I have made a point of going to the studio, putting on some music, and stitching. The twitchy eye thing has subsided. I feel better already.
There are things I need to do, but they are not the only things I need to do. So, having done that which needs to be done, I then pick up my needle and get lost in that mindless/mindful state of up and down, in and out… that rhythmic flow-state that restores my equilibrium.