My studio is gleeeeeeeaming. Aaah, such a nice feeling. It took me almost two days to clean it out. A massive spring clean. I almost didn’t want to use it again, so nice was it to have it in such sparkling order!! But I am about to embark on a new adventure and, along with the buying of shiny new journals and sketchbooks, the studio spring clean is an essential part of the ritual. I recently received an Australia Council grant to make some new work for a solo show next year, and so I am just starting to turn my attention to this, getting ready for the rollercoaster ride that inevitably accompanies the development of new work! I have a starting point, but as always there are a kazillion directions I could go in, so many half formed ideas from the last couple of distracted years, and so many processes and techniques I want to experiment with.
So I’ve spent the last few weeks madly scribbling down all my ideas and thoughts, trying to sift through it all, distill it down and work out a clearer direction. It’s a slow process, especially when you have a two year old vying for your attention and constantly demanding to play dress ups!
Developing new work is a process I both love and hate. It’s a process I know so well and yet one I can never take for granted. For me, the thrill and freedom of experimenting and researching and playing goes hand in hand with a kind of anxiety, because the whole way along you never quite know what the outcome will be. There are so many unknowns - and that can be both exciting and unnerving.
Rebecca Solnit writes in her book A Field Guide to Getting Lost (recently recommended to me by Marianne Huhn) that when it comes to discovery “it seems to be an art of recognizing the role of the unforseen, of keeping your balance amid surprises, of collaborating with chance, of recognizing that there are some essential mysteries in the world and thereby a limit to calculation, to plan, to control”.
That’s kind of it in a nutshell! So, here goes. Time to mess the studio up again.