Journal


Apparently I’d made it just in time – this was Gary’s last lab. But I am so so glad that I did and was not at all disappointed. 

 

It was really relaxed, unpretentious and just a group of people exploring some ideas that were never going to be made into great pieces of work. It was really refreshing to get out of my head, away from my notebook and onto my feet.

 

It brought back so many memories of ways that I used to work. Exploring ideas in groups without fear – something that i think being in an art college took away for a while. I miss group workshops and never took to an artists studio properly. No body was judging anyone and no-one had anything to prove.

 

Admittedly, working in a group of strangers bring challenges with it. Learning how to communicate with each other, differences of opinions etc. But i really enjoyed those problems.

 

We showed mini performances that we worked on in the morning of the second day. That morning was stressful in a way. Nothing stuck with my group. Nothing gelled at all. We’d try something and seemed to have an inability to stick with it. We’d change tact and not be able to bring anything to a conclusion. In the end we decided to stop being so serious and do any idea that anyone came up with and just see where it went. 

 

We decided that we would start in a neutral manner and begin to ‘learn’ behaviour, gesture and sound/speech from the audience. We copied their sitting actions whilst standing (so obviously accuracy was unachievable). We copied sounds, pitch, gesture and repeated and repeated it as if we were artificial intelligence.

 

The other group then gave feed back, and redirected us. We then re-performed the piece taking on board what had been said. 

 

The ‘artist’s talk’ was Gary – which was very fitting for his last lab. I always love hearing other people talk about their work as it gives a real insight into process and thought patterns. 

 

We of course ended the workshop with a drink in the pub! Naturally.

Advertisements

My last show, ‘The Art of Taking Tea’, was all about  the journey that I undertook whilst trying to recover my Grandma’s memories, as she had seemingly lost them due to Alzheimer’s Disease. I’m really sad to say that my Grandma passed away this week.

 

I had applied to the Accidental Festival to try and get T.A.T.T on there. I’m kind of hoping that they turn me down now, as I don’t think that I will be able to perform the show again – at least not this soon and not without re-writing the whole thing. I don’t want to leave the performance alone forever, I just don’t think that now is a good time to be performing it. 

 

I was playing with the idea of opening ‘T.A.T.T’ back up again and doing more tea but I feel like maybe it is a show to let go of. I don’t know. I loved the show so much and find it hard to think of never performing it again: I don’t like work that talks directly about death or grief very much and wouldn’t feel comfortable changing the show to reflect that. I feel like the performance was something positive created out of something negative; I don’t want it to become final and gloomy. 

 

I suppose that that is one of the hard things about creating work that talks very honestly about elements of your life – sometimes things are too raw… that’s it really. I just felt like it was worth mentioning.

I was off work sick. I got sent home yesterday afternoon with the bug that has taken the school by storm. I am so tired.  I found out that I got an interview for a PhD at Chelsea College of Art and Design. I was excited. I rang a friend to help with my design and have a natter. I began to set up an Art Theory Reading Group. I started to plan a portfolio. I panicked that I’ve not done enough to get through the interview. I worried. I brainstormed about my new project. I felt ill and had to have a nap. I couldn’t nap. I collected some references to look up. I cleaned my flat. I cried a bit. I updated my blogs. I had a friend over to dinner. I was convinced that I’m not going to be able to get through the interview. 

 

I’m back to work tomorrow. Not sure I can pay the rent  – I don’t get sick pay.

I want to start off by being really cheesy and dedicating this – my first post on my brand new blog, to my dearest Stevie, Sally and Ema! They have all spent a fair bit of time recently persuading me to get over myself enough to “just start… do something… ANYTHING”!!

 

I work, like lots and lots of people do, in a full time (not very well paid) job,  to support an art practice. This practice is rather unsuccessful –  in that I don’t put my work anywhere. It sits in my head, or I get something off the ground but then lack the skills to promote myself or my shows. This is not uncommon. 

 

When I am not sat around doing nothing because I fail to see the point, I am usually obsessively doing some theory on the point of performance to try and understand my compulsion to waist time and money that I don’t have, on creating unknown art… yet I can’t stop myself! I constantly think about performance, the world I am swimming through in a 9-5 daze (or in my case 8:30 – 4 daze), how to express what I feel or interpret, what I interpret (if anything) and why… what’s the point, what’s the point, what’s the point:

 

Why did someone like Nic Green decide to carry around a chair for a month and call it performance? What gave her the drive to conceive of this project, think it was a good idea, with a point to it, and carry it out? Now please don’t miss understand, I really like Nic Greens work… I like that she carried a chair around for a month EVERYWHERE she went… but why? What is it for? What does it do? What’s the point?

 

I have had it said to me that these questions are important to ask yourself, but I am finding them less so. They are stopping me from doing any work at all. This happens to me a lot. I did an MA last year and the same thing occurred… I did bugger all until the last possible moment… only then did I get over it enough to work because I would have failed if I had continued doing bugger all… no matter what theoretical spin I would have been able to put on it!

 

I no longer have the pressure of failing the £3,300 course that I spent a long time scrimping and saving for. I float. I get up, I go to work in a primary school, where I love the children and spend lots of time and energy persuading them that they would like learn to read. I travel well over an hour to get home exhausted with an empty bank account and potter. I go to bed. This is how I float. All the while thinking. And all the while I still haven’t cleaned my flat, washed my clothes, or cleaned out my pet rats (who currently stink by the way)… this is symptomatic of me. I think and struggle to do.

 

I’m not sure that this will change but I’m giving it a go. I am assured that by “just starting” things will take shape and I will understand more. I actually think that this is true which goes part way to explain my obsession with process. I strongly believe that the process is performative. It is temporal, occurs in the moment only to be discarded and undocumented if it doesn’t make the final product. Process as a form of interpretation, of understanding. blah blah blah I’m sure that this will all crop up again sooner or later so I’ll stop going on and leave it at I’m starting!