Sketchbook Honesty

I have sent off my submission for the John Gingell Award to the nice people at g39……meep. £5000 for 6 months and help and an exhibition at the end of it. Yes please! Fingers, toes and everything else crossable are crossed. If I got it, I’d probably be able to take a couple of months off work, to be a solidly art making artist. Oh to have so much time! We will see.

So I’ll be in an exhibition in The SHO Gallery in July. This is the one that I bought a wall for, and came up with big exciting dark crochety delicate felty vulnerable plans for. They haven’t worked out how I’d have hoped. I’m getting somewhere, but I think I was too ambitious. This plan may be a few years in the making. So much experimentation to still be done. It’ll come together one day.

BUT I have another plan. Honesty and secrets. How honest can anyone ever truly be? We only share with people the things we want them to see. We’re all different when we are alone. We all have thoughts that remain in our heads and never leave. We all have thoughts that we are too scared to even write down in a private diary that we know no one else will ever see. Because then we have to admit these things to ourselves. We do, don’t we? I am sure this is universal, but no one would talk about it. Uncomfortable.

I don’t keep a diary, but I do have sketchbooks. (Which are mainly full of words, cos, y’know, I like words. And ladies. Because that is all I draw. I think they are pieces of me?) Anyway, I had the idea to rip my current sketchbook apart, and nail the pages to a wall. That will be honesty. That will be me. Because at the time of filling the pages up, I knew that there would never be an audience. And so there is no censorship, I am being myself. I bloody hope. Nothing will be contrived, or fake, because it is real and I like that idea a hell of a lot. Although this may ruin sketchbooks for me forever, I can’t just keep surprising myself with HEY, PUT THIS ON A WALL, SHOW PEOPLE! Ha ha, na, it’ll be fine. Although it is a terrifying idea, and I think I shall need to warn some people before hand of the content… my sketchbooks contain my head. Not pretty sketches of landscapes and birds. They’re introverted, and scare me some of the time.

Anyway, it is an exciting idea, and I hope I have the guts to pull it off. I THINK it is a good idea. Argh.

Although it is very likely I will change my mind. Again.

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The F-Word.

I do like a good swear word. When it is appropriate, and in moderation. Use any word too often and it loses all meaning. Slightly off on a tangent, a tanker driver in work annoyed me yesterday. Can’t even remember what we were chatting about in the office, but he was going to swear, and then stopped himself, because I was there. Oh the poor little innocent lady who can’t cope with swear words. BAH.

I unexpectedly sold some embroidery on Newbloodart the other week- ‘False Hope 2’. I like it, but it wasn’t overly…..well done. But I think it had some oomph. Feeling. I made it the morning following one of the most traumatic nights of my life which resulted in absolutely no sleep. Rather mad, though lovely, friends and a bridge and shouting and ringing policemen and ambulance men and panic and…yeah wow. Not good times.  Yet still we ended up in the school of art somehow the next day….?! So that is when I sewed this. All art must have a story behind it, I guess we just don’t always find out that story. I want to tell people my stories.  Oh no, I’ve been rabbiting on about this, and I can’t find a picture of it… Oh no. Please don’t tell me I sold it without taking a photo? Oops.

This page from my current sketchbook seems appropriate.

Handed my work in at the Washington Gallery in Penarth this morning, tis a lovely space, I am very excited about the exhibition opening on Friday! Although wondering what they’ll make of my swear words… I managed to leave before they’re had a look. Oh it’s art, they can’t censor me. Ha ha. Pretty, huh? Well I like it 🙂

Mad sad bad

I think I’ve been doing it all wrong.

I’m reading ‘Madness Explained’ by Richard Bentall and it is fascinating. It worries me that I’ll never be able to remember all the wonderful bits! People deal with depression in one of two ways. They either ruminate and dwell, or they distract themselves. Distraction tends to be the more sensible dragging-yourself-out-of-the-hole choice. I got it wrong, the thinking behind my art and art therapy was wrong. Art in itself isn’t a distraction. It can make us dwell on things that we should just let go. I think too much. I feel that I am driving myself mad sometimes. Something needs to change.

 

Not Good Enough

I’ve been researching other artists this morning. Really made me realise how easy it is to make crappy textile art. Yes, take something like a hand-grenade, make a knitted version, and OH SUBVERSIVE INTERESTING EDGY ART. No it is not. Embroidering one nice word onto a found doily doesn’t always make for an interesting object. Please stop cross-stitching cliched swear words, it isn’t enough. It’s all been done before. Yes, we get that you can create something juxtaposed and subversive using the domesticated, restrained, feminine traditional medium of textiles. But from what I’ve seen there is a lot of dull, repetitive work out there. Do something wonderful! Or beautiful. Maybe there is a lot out there that is almost right… but not quite. I want to find something really interesting and unique. The possibilities of textiles are really exciting and intriguing…. Must try harder. And I know I have been guilty of some of what I’ve just said. Onwards and upwards. I have a plan.

Hand-sewn rosette, 2012