Reconnecting / Recharging
With just over three weeks to spare I have now finished all my pieces for Fragments, my upcoming exhibition with Helen Conway. Phew!
So what next? I have no immediate deadlines to hit so the pressure is off for the first time in a long time. I am free to continue to explore the monoprinting / breakdown technique I played with last year. I should be excited. I should be full of ideas and energy. Especially as spring has arrived and I usually love working at the bench on days when breakdown screens can dry outdoors. Instead I feel kind of flat. Maybe stale is a better word. Or studio'd out if that was a word. Not that I want a break from being in my studio. I don't. It is my favourite place and whilst I don't mind taking a few days or even a week off I cannot imagine going longer without being in there.
Maybe it shouldn't surprise me that I feel this way. I have been putting in long hours for over a year to prepare work for my two exhibitions with Helen. And for most of that time I have known exactly what I needed to do. Each piece had been planned; fabrics had been printed and samples had been sewn. I have spent months cutting, constructing, layering, stitching and finishing. Thankfully I enjoy every part of my process but it has taken steely determination some weeks to hit the deadlines I set myself. And all at a time when my home and family life has been full of unrest; coloured by sadness and anxiety.
So how do I get my art mojo back? How do I recharge my batteries?
- I am going to give my studio a deep clean and clear out. I need to reclaim my space.
- I am giving myself permission to play. I want to reconnect with techniques other than breakdown printing and with media other than thickened dyes. I want to colour and print cloth without a fully defined end point.
- And I am giving myself permission to be less than 110% focused on my art for a while; to volunteer, to teach. To connect with others.
And when the sun shines I may even take time out to sit in the garden with a cup of good coffee and a book!