Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Over brimmed

Over Brimmed. Roisin Markham 2005.
This morning I am laughing. The sun is shining into the studio and my brain is writing, creating solving for several community groups that have approached me to apply for the Wexford County Council funding deadline to work with community artists. The deadline is tomorrow.
Sometimes we need to say "I am empty - this is me, this is all there is" by staying with that and allowing the uncomfortable to just be so, by staying present all is as it is meant to be and we are held in all that we are or are not. Just in that moment.
By being empty we allow in flow to our lives. When we are full nothing else can be added.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

creating for oneself; process and words

Process, start somewhere. Roisin Markham
Sometimes I get in a muddle. My head gets jammed with thoughts, ideas all a clutter - aspirations, frustrations and unrealised ambition, in my mind and opinion. Then I get frustrated disillusioned and need to process. This often happens at busy times when my studio becomes a transitional space for working with others, materials go 'in and out' boxes stacked, lots of two-ing and frow-ing. It happens when things don't work out the way I thought they were going to and when that impacts on work or proposed projects.
It happens when I do not spend time making my own work and the snatched five minutes no longer satisfies. My brain, mental head space demands I make time to process and the best way I know how is creatively.
So yesterday I decided to paint. In fact what I decided was I would spend time in the studio alone, door closed, phone and computer off.
Painting did n't wash or at least not in the sophisticated ways I demand as a painter. Process woman just process if you have n't painted for weeks, months how can you expect to sit down and paint masterfully? It is like drawing you have to maintain a daily practice.
I normally start with writing as my in but the paint too long in its tubes still did not want to play or stretch across the paper or canvas.
Instead it was the words that poured out in a bile like process of anger, frustration and sadness. That was where my emotional state was yesterday afternoon. Strangely a pile of paper bags caught my eye. The words expressed onto them demanded to become a mini installation in my studio.
The photo is bad on purpose.
Mini installation in studio. Roisin Markham
By the time I had taped them all up what ever was going on was being teased out. Yes a particular experience did tip these feelings over the edge. I have often felt like an outsider and my personal experiences through life have re-enforced these feelings of never belonging.
Sometimes being a Mum to three boys & being married to a man emphasis this too - testosterone pha! But this was about where I live in rural isolation and how I work.
In saying that their is a positive edge to all this from this place of outside. I view things differently, I am unconventional being on the fringe allows me that place from which to work, invent, positively disrupt and in a bizarre turn of fate that is something I value. Yes I know contradictory and conflicted.
But on days when I feel off or the world does not sit quiet right it feels good to go with the anger and express it in health ways. Processing through creativity is a powerful form of expression. That everyone may have equal rights to access...
Today process continues... installation ii. Roisin Markham
Today the words are still there but they vie for a positive expression and meaning in my own life and work.
Words are words, expression gives meaning. Roisin Markham
not part of - part of
remain outside - join in
rural - town
isolation - inclusion
A project to explore with others around these words would be interesting and I have spoken to some groups where this would be relevant recently. But for now I continue to use them as words to process what is going on - graphite and ink and paper. Where do these word go next? Paper planes? fabric sinking in the canal or under the sea. They are but words but their expression seems the best way to process my response to these feelings that fleet and flit and yet again become submerged.
Sifting through draft emails this morning I came across this lovely apt quote
"Sometimes stepping away from something brings a clarity you never knew you were missing."
I am clear that through expression I get clarity, life is not all roses. We all have to find our own meaning.
This blog post further clarifies things for me and in the process perhaps someone else may find solace.
None of us are alone may we find the support we need and the tools to equip us to express ourselves.
I remain positive, unconventional and an outsider I just feel differently about it today.
Thanks to Barbara Greene in NY, @emoticomma for her lovely words on twitter today and through saying 'hi' prompted me to enquire "so how do you keep you spirits up?"
So let me finish by asking "How do you find clarity? how do you process?"

Saturday, July 23, 2011

a sense of creativity even for 5 minutes

Templederry lane, Wexford. Roisin Markham 2011
This week I had a full on summer camp with the Cottage Autism Network. It is a great camp initially set up for siblings of children on the autism spectrum. Busy intense week both groups had mixed special needs; autism, asperger and siblings.
When I have a demanding schedule and get busy supporting others with their own creativity it can leave very little time for my own personal work and self expression. At times like this my creativity is fully engaged in helping others reach theirs and I love that kinda work. Seeing those happy faces engaged in drawing, painting, spraying and clay all week was very rewarding. Yesterday you could see their sense of achievement and self esteem swell as they showed their work to parents, aunts and other adults, fabulous to witness and be a part of. It was great.
But I need to respond daily to my personal expression and sometimes that might be just five minutes on a walk talking photos.
Last night after a great week of work I came home to check email got some not so great news, had an argument with my husband and had to go out an blow off steam. So I went down the lane we live on for a walk. The photo above was the first I took. Further on the lane I came across a group of curious cows. They restore some of my zen by just looking chewing the cud and being cows.
The meaning of life is "moo". Roisin Markham 2011
You can read more about the CAN sibling summer camp on the CreativeDynamix blog.
I'll be posting more photos on facebook too.
How do you find your moments of self expression? ...or do you?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

and so back again...

Holidays were spent without phone and internet an experience I thought would be much more difficult.
As a family we enjoyed discovering Morbihan Southern Brittany full of Gothic church spires, medieval towns we especially liked Josslin and Quimper, megalithic sites including the menhirs in carnac and its excellent Prehistoric Museum, contemporary art (see for links & comments).
Pontivy château's was interesting historically and creatively seeing it's connection with contemporary art. Josslin Château was as flamboyant in its interior as its Gothic exterior but the smell from its rose garden most sweet.
a rose as sweet, Josslin Château France 2011 
Our boys 7,9 and 13 years all enjoyed the cultural mix this was rather a surprise for locally based in-laws.
Lots of pictures keep scrolling, enjoy.
The resistance museums were both excellent but we all voted for the smaller of the two as being most impressive with the wonderful Françoise whom started the collection of artefacts and stories at 15 years her personal connection to people made the experience all the more enthralling for our three boys and their cousins. I had never realised before how strong the identity of Brittany was and how this has impacted their contemporary history.
After just being in Knowth with Bluedrum I found the presence of menhirs, tumulus and dolmens as we travelled southern Brittany to be fascinating I fully intend to start dragging my boys around Ireland so they can appreciate the context of our own culture.
Wonderful patterned door in Quimper 2011

Hydrangeas were everywhere & in amazing colour range
I noticed this cute use of crochet over looking the bridge in Auray. The crochet reminded me of Irish Crochet in its fineness and lace like quality. I did manage to pick some up in a second hand clothes shop in Pontivy which I intend to incorporate into some of my hand made felt.
Auray, France 2011
I particularly like the writing in the dust and the quality of the doorway and reflection.
Auray toward the bridge, France 2011

An interesting collection of sculpture depicting music within the Breton culture.
Guemene sur Scoff
Near where we stayed this barn had amazing textures & contrast you will see more of this.

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