Thursday, 14 June 2007

Still in crochet-flux

I snatch moments of energy during the day, but my activities have been pared down to a minimum. The worst is my impatience. I get manic in my head with things I would like to do, ideas for artwork I’d like to execute, blogs to write, books to read, places to go, people to see, and that’s very hard to bear and completely unproductive when you’re almost immobile with fatigue. Had a message from an artist-friend who was telling me about her planned co-operation with another artist and an exhibition coming up in the States and while I was happy for her, she so deserves it, I also felt almost sick with envy. Very unbecoming and not very productive either…
Wanting more finished work, NOW, doesn’t help. Wanting doesn’t help, although it’s important to want. A couple of weeks ago I heard something on Radio4 that made me think. It was a feature about Mary Denise Matthews, also suffering from ME, who has just been awarded the The Libri Mai Mai Visti prize in Italy for her art-book Over The Hill With Annie May. What is amazing about MDM and her glorious-sounding book is that it took her several years to finish the book, seven or nine, can’t remember accurately, but a long long time from inception to completion. She had the patience, she had the vision, she persevered. I’m sure there were times when it seemed almost impossible, but she did, and I’m trying to take my clue from there.

The red dress with very long sleeves coiling up like tentacles (mentioned here before) that I started crocheting early last autumn is now too heavy for me to lift, so although it’s almost finished I can’t work on it for now. No matter how infuriating, it can’t be changed. Have banished the idea of gargantuan work (well, I’m trying to, I’ll be talking about the question ‘does size matter?’ another time) and decided that I am going to work on small things, tiny things, light things, minutes at a time - for now, trusting that in the end it will all come together to form something beautiful exciting meaty challenging slightly off-kilter gorgeous revolting enchanting… Elements currently in crochet-flux: flowers and pods, a nipple, nets, small mounds of unravelled cotton, diminuitive bullion-stitch dress, curly hairy worms, buns, an uterus, an ear… As I said: my art grows around me, slowly, veru slowly, but steadily.


cally said...

hey there, thanks for your comment, i especially appreciate that you took the time and energy for it when your energy is low.

and right now mine is low too, and i am cursing it, cause i wanted to say so much n response to these 2 great posts of yours, you have a great way of writing very clear. and I have the same dilemmas about talking about my health, never really mentioned it till i started meeting some bloggers in real life and had to confess.

but i must stop and sleep, i'll write more soon. and i've to do another thinking blogger award thingy next week and you are on the list, i'll let you know when i post it, but there wil be no pressure to respond to it (nothing worse than feeling obliged when ill).

i'm glad you have your garden, and hope you get some dry weather to get out and breath in. wishing you some sunshine over the next week.

Kirsty said...

Hi, I've been reading for a few weeks but this is my first comment. I'm yet another artist with ME and it is tough to deal with, my ideas constantly outstrip my energy and I also feel frustrated and angry when I have to turn down opportunities.

So I totally sympathise with your current frustrations - I hope you can rest and heal and let this relapse pass. Just keep telling yourself that you're still working, albeit a bit slowly. But the fact that you haven't quit making art is brilliant - I bet that, like me, you went to art college with talented people who graduated and then promptly stopped making art, despite being perfectly healthy.

What's working for me right now is doing a tiny little bit each day (I'm working on a daily drawing project called The Diary Project) but I have to accept that sometimes it's the only thing I'm going to get done all day!

I know quite a few creative people with this stupid illness - I sometimes wonder if it's partly due to being so driven?

Oh, and I had a low energy week too - it must be something in the air!

Kirsty said...

Doh, I forgot to say that I really like your work.

MoonChild said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MoonChild said...

haha~that's a photo i took in an art exhibition (the girl in blue is actually me~ha) and here's a part of the exhibition:

the words are not totally related to the photo, but it was the day i got a big news in my life after the exhibition! i'm sure you want to know ~haha~~
i'm please to tell you that i have got an offer from the university, and i will become an bachelor of visual arts after 3 years if i am lucky enough

Kruse said...

Perhaps a way to look at this is that the artist both makes and is her art. So, if your physical form is impacting on your work, is there some way to make that a part of the practice? I think there is great beauty and deep meaning in the frail, delicate, unwell, battered, and broken things in life; and I think that many women understand this because there are so many times when we find ourselves physically challenged.
Having said that I was (mis)diagnosed with ME about eight years ago,(actually underactive thyroid) and the dreadful lethargy and brain fog drove me mad! So I sympathise.