I like order. I don't like disorder. Sometimes disorder creeps up and hits you. In other circumstances I might tidy it away and pretend it never happened but in a spirit of openness and generosity I'm sharing my disorder. I came here to write a blog post and in doing so, found the start of another one, abandoned mid way through for who knows what reason. I was going to delete it. But instead, welcome to the scraps of whatever my thought processes came up with that day. I expect, at some point, I will get my life in order and come up with the next chapter. In the meantime...
One of the things that I really feel art school helped me with was the discipline of reflection. It was an integral part of our learning, something that becomes as much a part of the creative process as the actual making of work. Like many of my peers I struggled with it somewhat at first and even when I began to embrace it as another tool to use, I wasn't sure if it was best to get writing things down straight away, or to let things percolate for a while. The main snag with the latter approach of course is that it's all too easy to confuse percolation with procrastination which is what I fear I'm in the grip of right now.
It isn't quite a month since I last sat down and tried to write but it feels like forever. It has been one of those months whereby lots has happened but also nothing much has happened. I seem to lurch from intensity to ennui at the drop of a hat and mostly it is just leaving me exhausted. Part of the issue of course is a lack of an outside stimulus to make work, (tutors, academia) and an adjustment to a change in routine. While at art school I had a timetable and expectations to meet and so I stuck to it, and I met them. No matter the difficulty or stress, there was a certain sense of there being a status quo: I am student. My identity was settled, I knew what my goals were and ultimately they seemed achievable.
I had rather assumed that after graduation, I would be working at something full time. Instead I accepted a part time job share on the grounds that perhaps it would leave me time to find another part time job to make up the difference, and also that it would leave time to make new work. After all, I have spent a lot of time and energy on Album Familia, and while it is doing good things for me, I don't want it to be my only legacy - there are other stories to tell. But I find myself in this awful state of limbo. I'm working, but the hours are insufficient to support us for very long. So I have to find more work. Which means I can't be 'settled'. There is no status quo. There is no sense of understanding my position. I'm really struggling with the words today. Imagine something for me. There's a high-backed winged chair, in a room with tall windows. You can see dust motes gently being wafted around a wintery intrusion of light. The upholstery on the chair is a little faded, the seat cushion slightly dimpled as if when the occupant stood up they left something of their heft behind. A gas fire spits occasionally and the chair is postioned such that your feet will take up a space somewhere between where they would singe and where they would suffer chill air. A book rests, open and face down on the armrest. A coffee sits on coaster on a round topped table adjacent, too hot to drink right now but destined to be the perfect temperature by the time you've read the next chapter of the book. The tree outside the tall window taps the glass occasionally and there is a bird jumping from branch to the ground where you can't see what he's doing but it doesn't matter because that's outside of this room. Shelves of well-read books absorb anything that threatens to disturb. Voices, from elsewhere form a backdrop of burble which only enhances the still, in this room, where you are about to sit down and read. For an hour. Maybe more. No-one will come except perhaps a cat who, like you, will ignore the bird, then sniff your toes momentarily before lying down flat in the singe zone.
I have never been in this room, but I imagine it often. It is, I suppose, a depiction of an ideal state. Undisturbed, and undisturbable if only because it is a fiction.
Imagine something else. An office chair that can be projected across a room, swivelling round at will. It was blue once but now the edges are a greasy grey and the fabric, which in some places still reveals the warp and weft has mostly matted, spawning felted baubles like fungi. The phone is ringing and you know you have to answer it but you can't remember where you are or what these people think you are called. A computer sits in front of you, seventeen tabs open, but not the one you need. You go to sit down but someone has moved your chair and in its place is a green plastic moulded seat with a splodge of white paint solidified mid-drip on the back. It jams on the carpet tiles as you try to move nearer to the desk. A visitor can't get in the front door, the handle is jamming. You could reach but you're on the phone and the language your caller speaks is only nearly your own.
There was an intense period of recovery and recuperation after graduating which I realise sounds mad but was necessary, and then there was an initial degree of elation at finding a job.
cat at work
continuing documentation of workinterior
shows must go
back to wrok
hermitage park again
do i have to lose or give up something to fit in and be accepted. adoption. loss. who or what else? self. marriage. children.self. loss of what? loss of art school.