“I wouldn’t have written this poem if it wasn’t for…..”
These are the words of my poet friend Heather Wastie in her new book “Don’t Oil the Hinges”
It’s a great way to introduce a poem as it provides the context and microclimate that allows the seed of the idea to germinate.
I am showing off here because I’m mentioned in the book as one of the causes of poetry! What an honour!
The whole book is wonderful, not just the piece that mentions my exhibition… I love Heather’s work, on the page and in reading and performance. She also provided the greenhouse called Mouth and Music that nurtured my songwriting seedlings when some of them were poems, and sketchy ideas and bundles of words, alongside the Songwriting Circle with Dan Whitehouse. To have an audience to hear your developing ideas is amazing… if you don’t have one, seek for one… hopefully one with humour and generosity of spirit!
Serendipity is the thing I’m talking about… A happened because of B and C…
I’m on the cusp of the first exhibition in our new studios. The venue now has a name: “General Office”, and Facebook page:
And in the exhibition I have drawings.
I wouldn’t be drawing if it wasn’t for Mike and Sarah and a certain set of mental conditions coming together:
I had to move out of my studio and pack all my textile work up into boxes, hidden away…
I was no longer involved in a thing I had invested a lot of time and energy in, and had lost my way in my work a little because of that…
My husband became ill and I could not work on large objects like the furniture I had been working on, so I regressed and returned to the closeness and intimacy (and portability) of my sketchbook…
The critical art-friendship I have with Sarah Goudie… and her work… We had shared a studio and the presence of all that graphite seeps in… becomes a new possibility…
These things – and others no doubt – were the conditions that allowed the seedling to grow. All those years I spent drawing plants and people, all those years telling other people of the importance of drawing, all those years telling people how important it is to look, and show children how they can do it, and can make it better, and make it their own way, and use it… all those things came home to roost and I started drawing… and drawing…. and drawing…..
And here I am now, with two huge new drawings in a new exhibition space I share with five other artists! We will open the doors on Monday.
Nothing is wasted. The last 12-18 months have been spent with fear, anger, disappointment, pain, insomnia, feelings of inadequacy and despair on occasions…. but also love, friendship, support and validation and more love.
I’m a lucky woman.
I’m still here, so are the others.
And these are the drawings that brought me here.