I like there to be some sort of relationship between the WAY that I work and my SUBJECT.
Sometimes I have found this takes a long time to develop. I keep saying “Trust the process!” But I can get to the point of desperation and question the truth of that statement as time goes on.
This new work, these drawings, has been tricky. Textiles and garments are easy peasy. It is fairly simplistic, representational. Stitches are also easy to connect to the themes – see?
But that is exactly my point. That simplicity, while inherently beautiful, is also the sticking point.
I have outlined here in previous posts, how the circumstances of work, home, family, and studio conspired to change everything. I don’t know if everything would have changed if it had all stayed stable? But it didn’t. So what the world offered me, along with all that crap, was an opportunity to think differently for a while. Ditch the objects and the stitching (maybe temporarily, who knows?) and get on with something else. The something else was a diversion, I told myself, occupational therapy… all that… but… niggling at my hindbrain was the fact that I had been stuck and I needed to get UNstuck. The drawings have evolved over the last six months or so to a point where the start is now not visible. I know where it is, and if you’ve been following, you might be able to too.
Just this week, I have, at last, noticed where it sits.
As my pencil searches for anomalies in the texture of the paper and the surface marks of the watercolour, I realise that while I had been stitching, that’s what I had been looking for… a relationship to pick up on.. an unseen “thing” to latch onto, to draw attention to. I have been looking for mutations and anomalies and family resemblance, inherited traits and cycles. In the drawings I have been setting up the culture for these anomalies: Using watercolour, making my own indentations in the softer papers. I then look for one place, one part of the drawing to relate to another, just as I had searched for one person’s affect on another in the garments. I wasn’t pushing or stretching those relationships when I was working with stitches so much. What I can do now is manipulate and provide a culture that allows me to interfere more I think. The drawings are more experimental than the textiles. They are more exploratory. I am able to do more than just point at things and say “look at this”.
With the drawing I am reaching and reacting. I am doing more than observing and illustrating. I am making something happen.
Sometimes you need to get out of the place where you are too comfortable, where things are too easy. Sometimes uncomfortable is the place where things happen.