Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Astonished - me? YES astonished!

I recently did an open studio day where I was astonished by the amount of work sitting on my studio shelves. I took out all the dross work, semi finished work and the finished but not framed work and the framed work... yeah I know and I have n't even mentioned the work that was finished and I would never frame.

I astounded myself that I was storing work that was dated 1998.

But what is interesting about this is that I have allowed myself to hold this work and now I find myself reviewing it, recording it and realising that here lies the evolution of myself as an artist. So I think I will do a retrospective of my own work up until my exhibition "Footprints in my heart..." in 2007, during that exhibition my perspective on my creative work changed.

The other atonishing thing that happened is a small body of work gave me a wake up call. In 2000 I made work of a very personal nature... lets be really clear all my work is personal but this work was from the the core of my soul. In 2000 something happened to me that rocked me to the core of my being and subsequently other things happened that stripped me of my ability to cope. In Autumn 2000 I harvested my creativity to deal with a personal loss. I had not looked at this work in a long time just eight pieces. Eight paintings, drawings and images based around me and this loss they shocked me to my core. I could not believe the emotional strengthen of the work. My reaction happened over the last two weeks and continues. As I write I glance over to where the work is stored in a portfolio stacked behind my shelves, hidden from sight in the studio.
My first reaction was: this work is amazing I wanted to share it! Lets find a group based around this experience and go and do some creative work with them! I met a friend about a week after that and shared the idea with her noting as we spoke how deeply the small body of work was prompting me and effecting me. Two days later I crumbled I knew I needed some space, that Sunday my husband took our three sons off and in the quiet of the studio I took out all eight pieces and looked.
I looked and photographed them and looked.
Then I took myself off to our local beach where I did some work outlining a training session, lay on the sand, took some photographs and went for a swim. I reached the conclusion that I needed to be in that group for me. I need this work validated, I required that it would be witnessed... this was shocking. My ego was messing with my heart and my head. manipulation of the highest order. This was not ok to think like this...
From your perspective your probably thinking by making my art public I am looking for validation but that is not how it works for me. My professional relationship with my art goes as follows I make work for others, the process of creation is my piece and it is not until I am happy with the work that it will chosen for finishing at the framer or hung in a venue. It was a distinct point in my career as an artist where I knew I could hang work and be happy with it full stop. Even to the point that if someone disliked my art work I was accepting of their opinion and feedback with no ego attached.

So another few days passed and I got over being indignant and I came to a further evolution.
I am the witness to that work. Right now that is enough. But a dialogue has opened with the work from 2000 and that is exciting. As I move from 2009 to 2010 a decade has been lived and a window from the past leads into the future and how that window becomes a door is an interesting question.
Part of the reason for this post is still around creating space for our stories. I did not have space to share the loss, sorrow and downright grief. In some ways it is still unresolved perhaps because it is around grief it will always be there. But with compassion for myself I aim to create that space and share with you the continuing story. Not the visual work, not yet, that might follow in due course I have some work to do first.
If you'd like to see the photographs I took on the beach that day I have added them to my redbubble site, click here to be taken there...
I have written on loss before behind my paintings I journal, I process, I write.

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