Posts tagged ‘sea change’

taking a yarn trip

STA45198STA45202embellished yarn 086 So, I was supposed to take a trip into my overdraft at a fancy yarn supplier, but life had other plans…instead I have been upcycling more factory yarn into hand work friendly balls… some yummy landscape mixes are coming through, very Cornish heath and autumn woodland, the holiday I want to have is happening in the winding πŸ˜‰ Nonie gets mesmerised by not just watching me wind, but the long dreadlocks of freeform crochet as they accumulate on the floor. The next mix is sand, blues and browns, driftwood on the beach and white horses on the North Sea colours…mmmm….

But first a trip down memory of yarn usedΒ  lane πŸ˜‰




embellished yarn 079





slideshow: sea change, meadows 2013

I have been resting lots, predictable really, but also because of discussing pain levels with the doctor…all the wet weather sets off the inflammation aches and pains… 😦

I have been gathering thoughts and components for the next piece though, so being on bed rest doesn’t have to stop me being creative (mwhahaha!) which hopefully will mean pictures of new things next post πŸ˜‰

overcoming post show slump

So in the cab back from the art in the park picnic, I started talking about post exhibition slump and how to avoid it…it is an odd feeling, all this effort (and now I have fibromyalgia, I’ve skimped on so much to free up energy spoons for the xhib) around one outcome…that is now winding up.


The tree monkeys will deliver big bags of fibre art and signs etc to me, I will hand them vegan treats and later I’ll go through making sure stuff is dry and ok to store until its next outing. Keith will send me more photos and I will make the slideshow and ponder how to use it to catch the attention of art venues. And while I’m very glad the chores are over, there’s always been an after-the-party feeling, a Christmas tree going back in the loft feeling after a show…because I only exhibit once every couple of years for a solo show. I feel that may be changing, that now, ironically, when I have less energy for it, I may have acquired the promotion skills/mindset to springboard better and set installations on mini-tours πŸ˜‰

It feels different this time, that I have kept the faith with what I want to make next AND where I want to show next, that while I feel tired, I still have momentum. My computer skills are enormous compared to after the 2011 showing ofΒ  ‘Pushing Buttons, Ringing Bells’ and that makes me more confident to approach the Council, having jumped through the hoops for the H & S this time, I can do it again…

There is a process of embodiment that goes into making art/craft, an idea becoming physically present in the studio, and then when it is seen and shown, in the world. And the urge to make itΒ  and the question it answers are satisfied, so it starts to separate from me and the more it is shared, the less attachment I have to it, maintenance and organising more exhibitions are almost a distraction from the next ‘real’ thing, the next question that is being asked and answered in the process studio. It became its own thing, can’t it do its own organising?Β  πŸ˜‰Β  And the ‘chores’ are dull by comparison with making, though the birthday party bit is fun πŸ˜‰ so part of the slump can be the list of shoulds and oughts, this piece deserves to be seen more widely, all that work…even the praise that pleased me so much can become a burden! Because the new shiny thing is in the studio!

But then going in the studio is often quite hard straight after an exhibition, because all that praise was for that answer to that question, this question is new and tricky and has to be thought about and felt about and not answered slickly or later it will show up as shallow…and the temptation to repeat what got praised or to repeat “so they get it THIS time” any pieces that felt missed or undervalued, all that has to put to one side…it can all feel a bit sticky…


So what works?

What works is work!

Turning up at the sewing machine…getting my hands all painty, running my fingers through yarn and fabric, working on what I never stopped working on, newly tinted by what experiences the show has given me πŸ˜‰ watching the tree monkeys climb up among the branches, trying to take good photos under the thick canopy of blossom

sc04-001and new leaves, the smell of fresh mown grass and rainy soil (so different from hose watered) the sound of the traffic and tramworks, the smell of tarmac, the overpoweringness/fibro-fog/agoraphobicΒ  jostle that only an exhibition would make me face, the interesting chats blurring into babble on the super tired way home on a bus when all I wanted was to be back in bed….

all that will be in the next piece

All the help I got from my lovely friends, and then the new friends I made on Contemporary Conversations, and through see more and sea change being installed the same day (looking at you Anna R and Clare C!) and reconnecting with Jay H through facebook promo stuff, the chat with the family in the park about slow living, the way I felt telling visitors, “yes, I made this!”…. all strengthen my conviction that art is what I do best and that fibro isn’t going to stop me…

and will be part of the strength to negotiate more showings of sea change…

while I get out the components for Cradle for Stones that I have been looking at, thinking about and planning for but not allowed to touch for a month πŸ˜‰

I didn’t set out to re-write my relationship with post show slump, but it seems to have happened, very wu wei πŸ˜‰ daoist sages laugh near me πŸ˜‰

quilt 069

installation day!

Well, my tree monkeys have done me proud πŸ˜‰

So lovely to have friends who can do things I can’t, and Keith has taken some great photos again, mainly long shots, so once we have some details on a sunny and less windy day, I can make a slideshow…one shot I look like I’m about to fly away, which being of a sturdier build is moooost unlikely πŸ˜‰

And happenstance meant the lime and cherry blossom was out all around us, so beautiful!


And now I am so tired I keep falling asleep at the laptop and my hands can barely clench or grasp 😦 but I have such a happiness from seeing this work – all the changes I had to make due to health and safety regs have shaped the installation, not really how I envisaged site-specific affecting it, πŸ˜‰ but I have managed to make the dreadlocks a stronger feature again, and though I couldn’t dangle things the way I’d like to, people can touch…we got lots of smiles from families playing and passers-by, so I really hope it will be enjoyed locally…



philosophy of change

singingbird sea change statement

I’ve googled but can’t find a way round this…what I’d like to do is copy and paste 3 sides of A4 to this blog page, but this is the best a bear of very little brain can do tonight πŸ˜‰

If you’d like to read my carefully thought out expression of how and why I spent 3 years makingΒ  SEA CHANGE, (don’t hard sell it, brown bird πŸ˜‰ ) then double click on the link and you will be offered options for how to read it…I wrote it in Libre Office, a free download office suite, because I find the Microsoft monopoly and media suppression/censorship by fake security alert deeply offensive, and therefore you may not be allowed to read it by Word…sorry/not my fault? shrugs? this probably won’t happen again, as one of the excitements of the last 24 hours was my new laptop adapter SPARKING on my bed…unlike the washing machine, which has waited three or four weeks SO FAR to get fixed/ replaced, I have orderedΒ  a refurbished apple ibook at a bargainaceous price within 6 hours πŸ˜‰ oh, and put the old adaptor back in, even though you have to twiddle the lead every now and again to keep the power…and as emachines have gone into administration so you can’t get genuine parts now, much lighter use of this laptop will preserve it while I learn mac. I also know to use the laptop off battery to lengthen the battery life now, thanks Penny! So I will never hammer an adapter so hard again…it gets twisted because I use it in bed but have to have it plugged in, sigh..


Interesting how priorities are set, isn’t it? The quality of my life depends on heavy use of the internet, even though I live a fairly simple life overall (European/0.9 – 1.1 planets on carbon footprint tests) and I manage lots of the time without the microsoft products, but every now and then I am completely hamstrung by a sequence ofΒ  assumptions on the part of big business… So I am prepared to go to Apple, also an irritating monopoly, and learn a new system, though it also harnesses microsoft now, so that I can just keep doing the 90% of my stuff which is nothing to do with the 10% they do control…because that’s the laptop I can afford that will let me prioritise art…sigh…

Daoist wisdom: forget perfection

Rudy Dutschke: work within the system to subvert it

And keep making art, because despite a now ex-friend telling me all the other things I SHOULD want to do to be what she considers a happy and positive person ( relieved that I’ve done so much therapy, projection slides off me!) if I had a few months to live would I spend them making art? Hell, yes!

Sorting out the washing machine requires thinking and choosing… [ Daoist Duke of Chou: for a simple life avoid choosing] so it’s still not done, replacement of my living-well and artmaking/sharing aid, easy peasy, took less than an hour πŸ˜‰ and made a few friends laugh πŸ˜‰ go on, you’re allowed too πŸ˜‰

SEE MORE @ Nottingham Contemporary


Soooooo…the Contemporary class curve balled me, and extended by a week, meaning I will have an interesting challenge on managing spoons of energy…On Friday 10th May, we are having a 3hour performative art share, SEE MORE, 11 – 2, when I will promptly hustle into a phone booth and twizzle 3 times, emerging as Wonderwoman (sshhh! my secret identity, tell no one πŸ˜‰ ) and whisk away to Queen’s Walk Rec to sit and instruct the installation team on how to hang all the components of SEA CHANGE. I really need to get my head round this because I hang in a happy process daze of flow, and having to choose and explain every little decision is super tiring and induces fibro fog. And I need to stay fresh for the picnic the next day πŸ˜‰


Well, obviously, it will be a day of taxis and ready meals/sandwiches. Then I have already done myself a big favour by choosing to make a handmade book, to be shown on a plinth. I think the class is supportive enough to accept that I have no spoons to herd cats and help curate the space by class consensus, instead I will volunteer to sort out flyers and a couple of posters to attract visitors from upstairs at the Contemporary to The Space, where we will be showing. As I am doing all my flyers and posters at the same time, this is minimal extra energy, while saving the others a deal of stress. I can drop the flyers in to Contemporary by friend delivery (looking at you Robyn πŸ˜‰ ) on Monday/Tuesday and then arrive about 10.30 on the Friday, with SEA CHANGE carried by bearer (tbc!! but hopefully Cherise) and plonk SEE MORE on plinth, sit and smile and enjoy the art. Mary is using some sword form in her piece, ages since I’ve seen good tai chi ch’uan, so that will be a highlight for me and very centering/calming…


It’s interesting how different people interpret the same theme, I think Mary may be the most holistic of us, she is very elegant and moves beautifully and her piece may encapsulate somatics, performance and aesthetics, while exploring the class experience…we will have to see! I have chosen seeing more through internal adjustments, the quotes from creatives and the bringing in of non-traditional elements, embroidery and embellishment bundles, metallic and neon marks, not your average material for an international gallery πŸ˜‰Β  A daoist chuckle at resolving the chip on my shoulder about this by quietly bringing in what I believe should be more acknowledged in the age of altermodernism, that art is non verbal philosophy and can be “decorative” [read: visually interesting in a harmonious way] without losing its edge…may even be more powerful for it… (heresy!!! pass the smelling salts!!!) There will be inter-active elements as well, so altogether, an interesting event, if you happen to be in Nottingham that day, come on by πŸ˜‰ and I will take photos on the day too.


I’m trying to think out a way to prepare some of SEA CHANGE so it can be easier to install on the day. I went to Poundworld (like a dollar store) yesterday and lucked into some green gardening mesh, so am beginning to see a way to lay out some of the chains and stitch them down (it’s a VERY windy site) so that section can be unrolled like a carpet and then tent pegged in. I got some glow-in-the-dark tent pegs to edge it!!! I’m not totally convinced the batteries will work still, but it could be great…

Lovely Eleanor set up a Facebook page for the event, in particular for the bring and share craft andΒ  picnic event that’s standing in for a private view, and as she has an enthusiastic following, the invites (it’s open to all, it’s just a way of letting people know about it) are creating a buzz already πŸ˜‰ This inspired me to set up a page for the week, and bring it to the attention of non-fibre artists, and already some accepts are trickling in. Fingers crossed the weather plays nice, a good forecast will do wonders for my stress levels πŸ˜‰

Feel free to check out the links and send good wishes across the sea! I hope they work, my, my, the learning curve I’ve been on in the last couple of weeks…