I worked towards a solo show in 2007 where my theme was dealing with change, mainly in living location but also the closure of a phase in my life. I was commemorating leaving behind an area I knew really well and an established network and community. As I worked on the exhibition I took on bigger themes that were outside myself. My point of reference grew and changed. I started to look at social capital read Robert Putnams 'Bowling Alone', looked at my experience of how communities function, how personal networks are formed and started looking at the urban rural divide in modern Ireland. My work also expanded to include handmade textiles and photo-graphic prints.
I should add two other significant things. In the year up to the exhibition I had spent most of my working time in the studio alone. The week before the exhibition when I was due to collect my work from the framers I ended up taking our 5 year old to the hospital, twice in three days where he was diagnosed with severe Glandular Fever. The work nearly did not get hung and at the opening I stood know that my husband was at home with our three children one of them still very ill.
At the exhibition opening I stood surrounded by friends and family and a few strangers. I spoke a little about the work and then something wonderful unfolded. What I thought was finished work became a starting point. People responded to my work, the exhibition became a dynamic fulcrum that caused me to change how I approached my arts practice.
I made a decision there and then that I would get out of the studio and work with people more bring my ideas to them earlier in my creative process and look at ways to explore creativity in a more open way with others.
To be continued...