My month working at ConArt in one of their container studios is finished now, Sunday was my clean up day. I have learnt a lot about my own practice and what I want to do now and so I am hoping "to maintain the momentum".
Going to work every day has been exhausting and very satisfying. One night when I came home and was catching up with Steve I keep falling asleep as he was telling me all the things he had done. In the end he finally and very gently suggested I might like to have a wee rest before tea. And I thought he hadn't noticed.
When I reached a dead-end I just had to keep on going. I had no books to divert me, I was expected to be there. Kyren, my "other container" mate, was always there to spur me on and there were always people coming into the space to see what we were doing. It was a great experience to have to talk about what I was doing, my project "A Stone's Throw", and my earlier work.
I did have a plan which didn't really eventuate but was always at the back of my mind. I wanted to walk around the block to find detritus and take photos every morning. To do this I really needed to be there at 9.30 am and walk. Walking was out of the question as I have damaged my leg/heel and have to do lots of resting. Never mind, it's a plan for another time or experience.
And I discovered "Printikular" which is an App that allowed me to send the photos I wanted printed to "The Warehouse Stationery" and collect and pay on my way home ready for the next day. Such a time saver.
I had to keep going and my work evolved like this. Everyday, for the last week or so, I arrived with an idea for a sample or two. Each of these is 6 ins square.
These were 6 ins by 8 ins. It was interesting how I woke up either with an idea or found one as I had my cup of tea and breakfast. Sometimes I left a piece in the sewing machine so I had something to do immediately I got there at 10 am. As I worked I became more and more interested in process and materials rather than image. The lines from the paint were so like the lines from ripped fabric. And the stitched lines accentuated any pattern on fabric underneath.
Also I sold work!!!!! So exciting and validating. And so I had to keep making and finding more.
Now I have a plan to make samples at the beginning of my day. At the moment they are on canvas, maybe that will change in time. My grandchildren are coming to stay for a few days, I must focus on my plan after they have gone back home. They are just delightful and I am sure just the break I need.
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.