Tuesday, 27 July 2010


I should have posted these photos ages ago! Now the show is over and this artist feels like a tired straw doll with big button eyes and no memory of green…
Ten days ago I was in Wakefield once more. As I was unable to the Arthouse had asked artist Carrie Scott-Huby to give a workshop which took my art as its starting point. I talked about selected pieces in the morning, right in the gallery, focussing on how I delve into childhood memories and look for their emotional essence and make work from there.
Everything to do with the workshop amazes me. That it happened and that I was there. That people wanted to do it in the first place, because my art had moved them. How they responded to what I said. How they felt inspired to make work and share some of their own experiences. That Carrie and I worked well together in spite of me having to disappear in bed for longish periods.
It may sound strange, but I felt whole. Everything seemed to make sense: My artwork, my poetry and short stories, the writing and recording of "Lying low and reaching high", my presentation on opening night and how I communicated during the workshop - not lost years after all, even if mostly spent lying on the floor and speaking to myself.
I can't even begin to say how much I have learned - there's a lot to process. Suffice to say that the seeds were laid here: writing my blog, communicating in virtual but real ways with other artists was a first step out into the world.
Back to bed.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Gym turtle

I've been thinking more about childhood memories - mine are few and far between and usually bare of dialogue or movement - not really the stuff for stories. They come as still images, but their emotional weight is considerable. I see my artwork in that vein, each piece a compressed snapshot of being. Lately I've been trying to write stories. Initially I got bogged down in a literalness that was not only restrictive but diminishing. Poetry, like art, allows a different approach, in the concentration of language, but with stories I worried about how to be truthful when I remember so little. It took me a while to understand that here too it's not about the factual recording of an event down to the smallest detail, although that has its place, but that its distillation takes you to its centre, its emotional truth. Just in time I read a conversation between Audre Lorde and Adrienne Rich, where AL talks about how it has sustained her to trust her own perception at any point in life, and I realised that I am only starting to do that. The sensory details that I recall when I allow myself to fall into the stillness of a memory breathe life into it, and slowly, steadily I feel the girl I was, and she, who often seemed off, just not quite right, and oh, so silent, has a voice.

Dimensions: 23 cm x 38 cm
Materials: crocheted from black cotton and white wool/synthetics mixture, bit of fur