March was a time for reflection, thinking and planning. I’m working, slowly, on new pieces. I’m revisiting older work and pulling ideas together. Ideas for new work are sloshing around and beginning to settle. A few days holiday at the end of the month gave me vital thinking time, sitting on the front of a canal boat, pondering. Walking. Looking at the water. Watching the stars come out. All of these are essential parts of my creative process and it is often hard to achieve this kind of peace and contemplative time when my walk to the studio is through the city centre (where there is little green space) and my life is overcrowded with house renovation works and exhibition installation. None of these things is bad at all, but it all takes away from the creative space which is needed to think and make.
This month I have taken The Beauty of Stains out of the NCCD cafe to review the marks it has built up since February and contemplate what more to do on it. I’ve catalogued all the stains, and given it a gentle, cold water wash to remove actual solids while preserving the stains left behind. The piece is building up a fine patina of use, which I am delighted with.
Whether to embroidery the stains or to leave them is troubling me today. I can’t decide.
Meanwhile, Many Hands isn’t yet showing much in the way of marks of use and remains not very changed from when it went up. I don’t know if this is people being very gentle when touching it or if it is more sturdy than I thought. A few more months will tell.
My funded research visits start this month, with trips to Nottingham, Oxford and London next week and Gawthorpe Hall at the end of the month, with many more planned for later in the summer.
Community workshops in Sleaford were part of my original plan for the residency but have proved harder than expected to arrange owing to the limited contacts I have in the town, compared to Leicester, where I have all the right networks already established. This in itself is a learning process for me and goes to show just how important it is to have roots in a place.
March’s workshop at NCCD was inspired by my pincushions, with samples made by work experience students Amelia and Neena and wonderful, colourful pieces also created by workshop participants, some as young as 3!
My next residency day is 29th April, followed by 29th May which will include another free drop-in workshop.