It’s been a journey of highs and lows, of self doubt and self confidence, of holding on and letting go, but it’s left me feeling positive about my future both creatively and mentally. I am of course referring to my part in the Place and Memory project over the last three months.
The greatest thing I will take away from this experience so far is the ability to slow down and to use the many different skill sets I do have, to not be afraid to experiment and feel confident enough to step out of my comfort zone. To take time to think and research, to conceptualise an idea before leaping into creating a finished piece. My work always used to have a fast turnaround, mainly due to my impatience, my perfectionism, my eagerness to throw myself in, sometimes without sufficient thought.
The exhibition preview evening at Holy Trinity last night was really well attended and I felt extremely proud to have been a part of this creative development of seven fellow artists. The work on show was all astounding, each piece reflecting our personalities and journey we had made.
Installing my piece ‘No man is an Island’ was a real challenge as I was working against the elements. The daylight was fading outside as afternoon turned to dusk. There were challenges created by the space itself and I tried to work with them, not against them. The church was not a white cube but an earthy celestial mix of ornate architecture and dark wood. It was here I learned to let go and adapt as I realised the impossibilities of working with a light source that was not constant but ever changing. I was working with nature and not just about nature and it felt right.
The tube installation was my main piece of work reflecting my ideas around ‘collective memory’ and ‘belonging’. The finished piece consisted of 45 acrylic tubes (there would have been more if I wasn’t such a penniless artist! ) which were also a study of light, reflection, distortion and colour.
So, this journey has come to an end, but my next journey has just begun. Where do I go from here? I’m still not sure but I do know that this work will affect the way I work in the future. Again, the support I received from my friends who did come and those who couldn’t was incredible. I now have eleven new friends who I have had the honour ad privilege to work with.
The artists: Nigel Stone, Morticia, Sandy Holden, Sarah Deakin, Lorna Johnstone, Charys Ellmer, Donna Coleman.
The Mentors: Emma Bolland, Judit Bodor and Tom Rodgers, (and Brian Lewis) who guided me through times I felt like I didn’t understand myself, my work or anything anymore.
The project still has one last phase: a book publication which will be launched in March. Until then, and until we start work on this, my usual weekly routine will return to some normality, which if I am honest I am ready for.
In fact, I just feel ready…….