Balnacra Arts by Vicky Stonebridge

Liminal period

Dictionaries are good. I tend to sit with google translate and a dictionary open on the computer desktop. Learning things is cool. one of this weeks new words is Liminality . Which accurately describes the state of between big creative projects. Life seems to lurch unstably between projects, months of intense work at the expense of everything else- for what? a two day event, a week long festival, a talk, a workshop, a painting which gets a few nice comments, a couple of opening nights, some nice inches in a newspaper, a notch on the CV ? and then its gone… sometimes ten years later people say that a piece of art work or an event or workshop made a big difference to them, which is great and amazing. But in the immediate aftermath of creating a body of artistic work or pulling together a big event… there is nothing. The reward is the journey, the hope and blind faith that somehow all that effort progresses ones aims. But afterwards looking back there is no evidence of this. A couple of days grace can be gleaned by basking in reviews, feedback  and photographs, but it is fleeting. It can feel like you need to go backwards to try and pick up other threads which may or may not lead anywhere. In this limbo – burnt out, penniless and exhausted it is probably not a good time to take stock and reappraise life aims and objectives. But its hard not to question, why do i put myself through this? What was the point in what i just did?  No good answers are forthcoming in the liminal period. I think it would help just to continue painting without a break, let art take up the questions. But life and other work gets in the way and once the art flow is broken its hard to get back.

Here is a painting i started, ‘The Furies’. The problem is i’m not sure if i can produce art for art sake alone. We women are traditionally more focused on other rather than self. There is the whole work ethic & need to support ‘others’. We artists are traditionally a low esteemed, low self worth, type of people. ( ironically there is also a selfish aspect to such sensitivity and non regard to self ) So the problem is without a paycheck, a boss, an editor, a deadline, a specific goal, a muse, a commission, a specific brief or customer…without something or someone outwith the self to paint or produce work for specifically, then it all falls down & feels like pointless self indulgence. If my duty is to others not to my self, then why paint?  This is not a new problem of course, i’ve been fighting tooth and claw with it for the 25 years since i left art college. answers on a postcard not expected.

meanwhile here is a great review of the Inchmore ‘Reactions to Vysotsky’ exhibition. Yay!

and i am trying to catch up with work on the ‘ Band of Butchers ‘ comic strip which is part of Barry Nugents Unseen Shadows universe. I’m on digital colour duties, watch this space.

I’m also mucking in with the Ceangal Project– which is a grass roots international artists connections thing, coming from collaboration between Lynn Bennett-MacKenzie and Somu Desai. We’re doing some art in North West schools and in the landscape next week..Its all going to be BIG and exciting. more information to follow!

Then i need to tidy out the studio, as soon as i get some energy and time. URG.


( the horror )
I’m also in a rush to produce some large artwork for a rather good exhibition opportunity in Brussels.
There is the TV treehouse getting built this week too – I’ll blog that separately, this one is too navel gazing.
Being busy, published and exhibited internationally doesn’t mean you can pay the bills or know what you are doing kids. Its all an illusion.

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This entry was posted on August 31, 2011 by in Blog and tagged , , .

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