Behind "Aratoi" in Bruce Street, Masterton there are a series of brightly coloured containers that have been set up as an art space for Wairarapa artists called "ConArt". There is a gallery, a retail outlet and two insulated working studio spaces. There is a third space but it is not insulated and gets very hot.
I am working in one of the studios for the next month. It is an interesting experience having a clean and tidy space, with just the materials I want there and my work on the walls, plus ongoing inspiration and the resulting work. It has made me think seriously about my studio at home and how I can make it a similar space. What I really don't need and the necessity of tidying up at the end of the day. About my working studio practice.
I get there at 10 am and leave at 4.00 pm. It's like going to work. I know I should do this at home but it is far to easy to go back to the house for a cup of tea, a FB check and a couple of games of Patience or even a peruse of the news. Very quickly an hour has gone by. Being here does keep me focused on my work.
The work I am doing here is called "A Stone's Throw" and is based around what is close by, a stone's throw away. Interestingly this is a biblical quote used to describe a place or situation just outside a city's walls "a stone's throw away" ie not far.
On one of the outside walls of my studio walls this poem has been posted. This is part of the "Outdoor Poems" initiative in Masterton. It is really lovely, there are several around where I am working.
Last week was interesting finding what was close by. We did have quite a bit of rain and there were puddles and reflections in the gutters and it amazing what actually starts to grow in cracks in the pavements.
And it is fun to make up stories about how and when things happen. I can't remember anything in the paper about a minor accident in Queen St.
Monday and Tuesday ConArt is closed and this has been my weekend, phew I have been busy. Working from home has it's advantages but I have been made very aware of how easy it is to loiter.
After thinking and reading and thinking about my solid fabric stitching and why I might have done that I have come back to the old self confidence trick and self belief. I am back working on a "Sticks and Stones" series which are much more mine.
In this series I am thinking about life and memory and how a memory can be shaped by later events and can become a false memory. And as I add layers of paint, stitch, sand and mend the memories can change and become more or less hurtful. "Sticks and Stones" was a very common response in my family.
And the pieces take more thinking and effort than doing something someone else has done before. Each piece is 4" X 4" square and is made from pieces ripped from a cotton sheet after it was painted with bituminous paint.
And I have learned that people, mostly women, darned and mended fine fabrics etc with human hair.
I haven't decided yet how to stop "a rush of blood to the head". I still have my bin of solid fabrics and my stitched stripes, I still have some of my books that led me off on a tangent, I still have times when I think what I am doing is not good and, maybe, this is always going to happen.
I would love to know how you avoid "a rush of blood to the head". Or do you just let it happen? For now I want to keep working on this series and ignore distractions.