A quick intro: I’ve been writing secretly for a while. Not feeling brave enough or worthy enough to share what I’ve written. I’m trying to rectify this by sharing some of my back catalogue and mixing it up with some new writing as a way of putting my stuff out into the world.
Written 14 June 2016
I want to escape the everyday to get back in touch with why I want to be a maker. As artists go I’m a late bloomer, I struggle with giving myself permission and as soon as I try to get ‘Professional’ (applying for funding, residencies, getting support) about my own, solo work I get riddled with doubt and a sort of paralysis. In 2014 I worked really hard to enable myself to start making work, I even started calling myself an artist and then I got quite ill. It’s been a rubbish but illuminating experience. As I adjust to a new, slightly wonkier version of me I want to be bolder and develop new ways to unhook myself, even if only for a few days at a time, from the everyday to feed my practice and find the courage to make the work that I want to.
If I’m honest I’ve always sort of thought that there might be some magical, perfect conditions for making art and if I could just organise my life to realise that then making would be less fraught somehow. The last year and half has enabled me to really experience that differently, and see that making in spite of all the imperfect conditions is the real challenge. So I guess I’m not special, I’m just trying to make work with integrity, that will connect with people and shape the world while being able to eat and try to live fully as a human being. My illness has added some extra admin but everyone has something. I think my biggest challenge is having the courage to get started in a meaningful way after 18 months of being ill, of not being afraid of starting now, with what I have.
To keep my focus on what really matters to me, yes food and water but also stories and community. To develop my resilience and physically engage. I have always been very physically fit and robust and I’m not anymore. I also want to learn about this new me, what she can do. In a lot of my work I’m drawn to wild spaces and our relationship to the world we live in. One project that I’ve gently explored is about a woman who was marooned in the arctic circle, and how she survived with nothing. My life has changed a lot since I discovered that story and while I feel sure it’s a story I still want to explore and share I’m not sure how. It’s about resilience, it’s about an 18 yr old French noblewoman from 1542 who survived for two years alone on an island of Canada, dealing with loss and pain and hunger. She may have some useful insights for me.