Monday, 24 June 2013

Just for a little while, before I begin my next serious project, I can read books for pure pleasure, be playful, take trips to the beach, relax into making for the simple joy of making, potter around my house and garden, to take stock of my life, my finances, who I am and what I want to do with my life now.  And find my quietness again, in the still that is the space between an end and a beginning.  

Friday, 21 June 2013

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

On monday I was at the Hostry setting up my work for the Bishop's prize exhibition. I didn't come close to winning but just being in the show feels great. I was given a glass cabinet to display my work in and I think it looks beautiful and the tutor overseeing the set up gave me some very good and useful feedback. 
It was interesting to see the pieces that won, I think it may be quite hard judging art for competition.
The exhibition as a whole looks lovely, the work is varied ranging from animation to photography, textiles, illustration, visual studies, game design and fine art. The show is open from 18th - 30th June.   

Sunday, 16 June 2013

The work detailed below began with a dance performer called Rebecca Skelton who died too young. Her brother had engaged Gaelin to make her dream of creating a piece based around the lighthouse and the surrounding landscape a reality. 
This is something that she wrote about dance that is quite beautiful.

"Whilst dancing in the purest releasing state, I appear to be cultivating no-self. The paradox is that in becoming the dance (moved by an image) so I become more myself, and yet lose my sense of self at the same time. The "I" disintegrates. I am dancing "me-ness" which is brought about through the channel of the imagination, and thus the dance itself enables the complete integration of the psycho-physical being. This paradoxical and intertwining of one with "other" is also an aspect I relish. Inside becomes outside and vice versa. The paradoxical nature of suppleness as strength, - of less as more, are other philosophical approaches to being, that for me, tap into a spiritual connection." 
Rebecca Skelton 1968 - 2005


Sometimes you get given a chance that is challenging but too good an opportunity to miss. For some years I have been going to dance classes, exploring the shapes my body can make and learning a myriad of skills that I have taken into other areas of my life. Dancing has helped me to extend my physical vocabulary and I love it, but I have stopped short of performing. In a way learning a little more about my physical presence has given me the confidence to own my space, to be a little more true to my self and to begin to know when I am acting a part and when I am just being me. 
However, a month or so back, one of my teachers Gaelin Little (mentioned in previous blogs) invited me to be a part of the research project detailed in the invite above. With some trepidation I accepted her invite, yesterday was the performance and I was a part of it. 
I am not a dancer I just like to dance, so taking part in this was something out of the ordinary for me, a step into the unknown and quite scary. I would say that performing to an audience is something quite odd for me, but it has been fascinating to see how Gaelin and her friend and assistant Lucille managed to put together the work and I have learned such a lot from this experience. 
I guess this blog post is a thanks to Gaelin for giving me this opportunity to stretch out of my comfort zone and learn a little more, and for trusting me to be a part of her project. 

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Lowestoft sea wall, and east over the sea from the most easterly point.

I did the first year of my degree in Lowestoft on the Design Crafts course. I commuted daily on the train. The track runs through beautiful fenland countryside from Norwich to Brundall to Strumpshaw, Cantley, Reedham, Haddiscoe, Somerleyton, Oulton Broad through to Lowestoft. And of course back again. Taking a trip daily the route becomes familiar and you begin to notice subtle changes in the landscape, and to mark birds and animals that are less common. 
Yesterday I went back to Lowestoft. I had forgotten how sharp and thick the salt air is as you step off the train. Returning brought home a wave of memories. Lowestoft is not a glamourous or fashionable town, you have to go further south along the coast for that, to Southwold and Aldeburgh, but I like the grit. You have to walk quite a way along the sea wall to get to a beach. This walk takes you past factories and a caravan park, and the most easterly point in the British Isles. The wall is a sea defence rather than a gentle promenade, it is a coastal path for the hardy sea-lover. When you get to the beach it becomes a little more picturesque, the gently sloping stoney beach backs on to a fat bank of bamboo, tree lupins, rosa rugosa and brambles. Paths meander through this greenery taking you to Corton and beyond.
Aside from needing a scenic train ride, a bit of sea air to wake up my senses and a trip down memory lane, I went to Lowestoft to see the final show for my degree course year group. The people you start a course with are something special I think. You all arrive, not sure what's what, eager to learn, shy maybe, anxious, excited, and that is a powerful connection. I was impressed by the show. Lowestoft is a small course, in an out of the way town slightly off the map, but it attracts some interesting students and the work in the show reflects that. 
Although I changed mid course to move to Norwich, and I have loved my time there, I know that the work I am producing now stems from my year at Lowestoft. Lowestoft rooted my journey as an artist and I am grateful for the year that I spent there.  

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Went to the Hostry at Norwich Cathedral today, to check out the exhibition space for the Bishop's prize and confirm what's what. Being a part of this exhibition means a lot to me. The cathedral and it's grounds are lovely, and the exhibition space is quite elegant with old walls and good light. And the shortlist for this prize is not so long, so I feel proud of myself for submitting an idea that was liked well enough to get this far.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Of course, if I'm in the country roaming country lanes, the chances are I'll be taking photographs of plants. This weekend it was the weedy plants that drew me, the brambles and plantains, stinging nettles and sycamore.

Two amazing days of dance workshops this weekend. Led by the lovely Gaelin Little, in Happisburgh village hall, and along the cliff path by the lighthouse. Gorgeous sunshine today, but a brisk wind on both days, cold from the sea, has blown away some of the dust and cobwebs. Gaelin has been given funding to create a dance project based on the lighthouse at Happisburgh and the surrounding landscape. We have been exploring notions of gesture and place, using movement that has stemmed from authentic movement improvisations made on the cliff path yesterday and using phrases and words and games to create links and an easy cohesion between two people and then small groups. Words that came from the group as a whole at the end of this weekend are nourishing, air, grateful, sustaining.