Monday, 24 November 2008


She dreams herself armless
but winged and beaked
and bedecked with feathers.
His ringed bird, she’d fly
under a sky brimming with clouds
or in the white light of the moon.

Dimensions of crocheted one-piece-gloves, laid out: 52 cm x 19 cm
Poem: Fragment of poem-in-progress

Tuesday, 11 November 2008


After my enforced art-break I’m slowly starting to pick up the threads. This is the last paper figure I finished, in July I think, and as she’s sitting in a shelf just above me I’ve been looking at her a lot. She is only slightly bigger than my other figures, yet appears heavy and almost monumental. I’ve made her differently, wrapped the newsprint less tightly; there is more looseness, openness, in parts less definition of form. She seems on the verge of becoming or disintegration, and looking down at herself in wonderment. Let me fly with that: Maybe she’s not recognising herself in human form, having undergone a kind of reverse metamorphosis from mineral or animal form. Consciousness of her (new) self would be arising slowly. I imagine her getting a sense of herself by ‘feeling’ her body from the inside, sensorily scanning it, perceiving the mysterious warmth of her form, the as yet uncanny vibrations of breath, the unsteady heartbeat, moving and stretching her limbs tentatively, and assembling her impressions almost blindly. I wonder what it would feel like to wake up armless, but winged and beaked and bedecked in feathers. Or, even more difficult to imagine: having been a rock for aeons, to find soft-skinned nakedness and mutability and being unable to name this incongruous newness? I don’t think the terror would be any less this way around.
We all experience some of this – that moment when we wake up and briefly, terrifyingly do not know who/what/where we are. When we look in the mirror and find our mother or father staring back at us. Or when we are confronted with the physical and mental changes brought by ageing or illness. This summer I found I could not recognise my knees, their shape had shockingly altered – this new (or rather oldish) pair was sagging and I’d not seen the change coming.

Materials: newsprint and masking tape
Dimensions: 39 cm x 16 cm x 38 cm

Monday, 3 November 2008


I’ve been thinking about coming back to blogging for a while, my wishes as ever preceding my energy, but have felt weary about it as during the last few months I have not produced any artwork – I’ve got nothing to show. (Here's a tailor-made proverb - nothing crocheted, nothing gained...) I have not been entirely uncreative - my poetry-vein has been pulsing off and on and I have started to note down the first stirrings of ideas. But for a lot of that tired tired tired time I felt out of touch, my bed an island afloat on a glassy sea, no land in sight.
Had a dream the other week, about coming back to art college after a longish absence, maybe from illness, and finding that in the meantime the other students had learned new processes. One, A., with whom I did go to college, had made a pair of boots from thin smooth gleaming brass, with a machine-made look, which I didn't much like, but she’d actually made them herself. So everybody had made progress, while I had been standing, or rather lying, still. Neatly sums up some of my anxieties about my art-work, about blogging, about a lot of life watched from the sidelines demarcated by M.E. I feel not being involved in art-making as a loss of identity and it wrenches me. But strange things happen: As I wrote this out just now I was zoomed right back to my artist-self by a little mistake: instead of writing ‘she’s made them herself’ I wrote ‘hairself’. It pierces and pleases me with its crazy rightness. Hey, that's me! I’m back!
So - I'm marginally less tired and penning my first lines, for blogs, ideas, poems... Here’s hoping that I will get beyond these and build and grow and turn and shine. And communicate and exchange and feedback with you all again...
In the meantime I'm holding my breath - never have I been so anxious and so hopeful about an election. All fingers and toes and everything else crossed for American voters to do their bit and elect Barack Obama, for themselves and for all of us.