– a short film made by the Nottingham Contemporary crew about the course and how it affected some members, at 3 minutes they did well to fit in the WEA assessor, Chris, Daphne and Stephen, though you can see more of us in the backgrounds, of course. It’s interesting how huge an experience it’s been for some of the group… I think I felt that way about the Art Access course I took 97-99 with Charlotte Finlay-Broadbelt and Chris Lewis-Jones (yes, the same!) and then the City & Guilds Machine Embroidery with Chris Standen, that my art making skills expanded exponentially. This should feel as transforming to me, it has been my ability to take my art into the world that has grown…and I realise I am not remembering to celebrate it enough!


I’m finally walking through the wall I identified in therapy in 2000…the agoraphobic barrier that stopped me or punished me for even trying to broach it is now a pile of rubble I am picking my way through. I watched my fibromyalgia spoons soooo carefully during the installation, trying to rest as much as I could (my new homehelp had a baptism by fire today 😉 ) but agoraphobia-wise I have been really struggling when I am out this week, with high anxiety and tearfulness and reluctance to go out… a bit of oversharing too 😦  Luckily my new doctor is an absolute sweetie and handled it! The rubble is pretty big, and I am getting very tired and wobbly, but…I’ve just walked through the Berlin Wall of internal barriers! Wow!



The work we did on presence and presentation:


was hard for me, but has really paid off. By comparing myself to Banksy I set myself free from the agoraphobic/ fibromyalgia issues of maintaining  presence in spite of rising adrenalin/anxiety because, bingo! I used a variation on his anonymity, I extended the singingbird avatar from yarntagging to my facebook profile and promotion. It made things a lot easier, and though I had to still be very pushy, sorry, I had to be an efficient promoter of my own work 😉 I didn’t have to see my name over and over again. I don’t know how well this would work for other agoraphobics, but I’m talking about this just in case it helps anyone else. Cold calling is my worst nightmare,  to the amazement of lots of people who have seen me being very confident! Aren’t we all interesting mixtures 😉

Lovely Suella prodded me to approach Nottingham Castle about linking up with the lace tagging… and in my new expanded space, I did. Being able to assemble images so quickly and email them for free (sending slides used to be so expensive and time/effort consuming, the internet really is great for this) and with the extra freedom/non-attachment to results that gave me I already had a big win, but to my delight she liked the images and is keeping me in mind to link up with fibre/thread artwork in the future! Which means I can send her updates as new pieces complete in their slow and meandering ways, without triggering the huge anxiety of cold calling. I was nearly crying as I told the doctor about it…