I feel I have permission to do nothing for a bit. I’m not planning to start any new work until the new year, a sort of self imposed studio ban. I’ve been reading through a stack of textile related books, and had lots of naps – Not dissimilar to my 2017 review. Once again, I’m getting a bit bored and restless. Below are some observations/realisations from 2018.
Depth Year – I have had this concept in my mind all year. Working towards a solo exhibition has meant this body of work became the sole focus. Time to explore, research, go deeper and make. It has been difficult at times to say not now to other projects/exhibitions, however, there’s no compromise to fit in with the work of others, no jury selection. No size restrictions or imposed themes to fit your work into.
Safety and the longevity of your art career. Like any other work, occupational health and safety is paramount. As artists we have no industry standards, we must take responsibility ourselves. This article “My Beautiful Death” along with a point made by CASM Artist in residence Helen Coleman talking about the natural dyes she researched in her exhibition “Remember, although natural, some plants are poisonous. So would you want to wear fabrics you dyed with poisonous plants next to your body?” I work inside my home, so don’t dye fabrics and rarely use other things that could be toxic, however I do very repetitive work and need to consider the physical strain and stress on my body. After too many sessions with the physio late this year, I know I need to counterbalance this by more yoga/walking exercise.
Care for the environment in regard to my work has become more of a focus in the past few years. Finding the beauty in recycled materials has had a big impact on my work. The endless options have been removed, the constraints of materials help inspire and challenge new directions. Not until I had almost finished the body of work for Of Our Time – Ordinary Lives did I realise that I had purchased no new materials, only items already in my studio, op shop treasures and fabrics given to me.
The habit of working gives a quality to my life. The repetitive processes of stitch, etc is meditative and energising. Post exhibition, without a new project, I find way too much time is spent browsing social media, trashy TV and feeling very tired. It sure is time to get back into the studio!
My studio supervisor is ready!