Day 2 Ceangal arts residency. out and about juggling internet connections, so much going on snatches of time to upload photos & try to keep the official blog & mine going, randomly. I did hae some ideas of what art to do here, I haven’t painted for months, no time. Fixed ideas of what art it is I do… I do this. I do illustrative, I do figurative, I do…. Except I haven’t been, what I’ve been doing is facilitating a community woodland purchase and development plan, I’ve been learning traditional crafts, I’ve been writing poems, I;ve been learning woodworking skills, I’ve been working with people, I make things from sticks, I blog , I photograph.. Is this my art ? I’ve certainly been working my way into a corner, exhausted, run down, tight chested and allergied. I’ve had such a battle to keep the dates of this residency free from all my other work pressures. The tasks I have for this month are unachievable. For someone with a highly diligent work pride, I have started to no longer be able to do things efficiently, some things just haven’t got done…cue irritated phone messages etc. problem is delegating the tasks away or cancelling commitments takes time I no longer have. But this residency is important, this is ME time, this is ART, the days would fly past doing all the usual rubbish chasing my tail, if something has got to give ( and given that my health is already giving ) it is the other jobs that can go. I am going to do mostly ART during this residency and that is that…. Apart from the meeting on Tuesday night. But that is a chance for me to go home, collect my art materials, collect my dog, collect some tools and then come back to Gairloch and get stuck in. stuck into what ? Why am I hanging onto notions of canvas? After a day of visiting lots of stunning site, forest, wood, beaches, rocks.. Why canvas & paint ? The thrust of the residency is ‘on site’ art works, in my efforts to remain ‘accessible’ have I backed myself into a corner that no longer fits? Have I forgotten how to play ? Am I too caught up in my own sets of rules, caught in the detail, impossible goal setting and seeking perfection that always falls short ? Those red rowan berries sure look good, should I faff about painting them on a canvas, or just play with them & see what happens ?
10th Monday morning. Sleep soundly on the sofa bed of local mosaic artist Ingellas. A fantastic new house with huge window views across the stormy sea to sky. Dreamed about art and being under pressure to create an art installation out of whatever materials were to hand in the environment that was there, in my dream it was a railway track, a layby and a nearvy shopping mall. We had less that two weeks to do this. There was a pile of lovely black shiny rock which I was wrestling with the practical concerns of trying to transport in it my car to a point where people would see it, what structure to build, something practical? A bridge, and arch? Or something that people could understand and relate to, perhaps a stag made of rock and sticks on the public precinct of the shopping area? There were overhead cables and I got busy helping some trades men moving ladders, trying to explain installations, art and ‘on site’ structures to them.. When I stopped work I noticed one of the ‘successful’ renouned artists has simply placed one rock by the railway line, and placed some grains of rice upon it. That was her work for the week? Everyone applauded, and she was a shoe in for the prize, off they all went to drink champagne while I still worked out how to safely move and sculpt some rocks, perhaps using some scrap metal from the scrap cars we have at the fire station? How to maximise my time & materials? How to make it accessible to people? Feeling on the outside. The tradesmen said to me “ ahh art, is that like Van Gogh ?” … I think that dream was quite a useful insight into my internal battle with me and my art ! Onwards, today more excursions!