When you’re new back to making after a considerable break initially it’s easy to ‘have fun and be playful’ in the workshop, but now after two years in the HS2 project and part way through another 2 years in HS3, I can feel my process tightening up. It’s less about fun and much more about hard work and the discipline needed to keep up all the diverse but necessary aspects of a practice. My making is very materially based, so too much self-editing before the idea even gets to be played with in material form, is not useful. I tend to 3-D draw and make quick mock-ups rather than draw on paper, so with a process that’s so dependent on the hands on aspect, if I throw ideas and material combinations away before I even test them then there’s little to show for the hours spent thinking through an idea. More importantly, there’s no visual reference point to build on for the next round of play in the studio.
So how do you loosen up? I tried Workshops and while they definitely fall into the fun and play category, for me they’re really stimulating but also very distracting, taking me too far away from my own sometimes fragile trains of thought. So I thought about a residency where time and space could be ring-fenced for specific aims and with negotiation, organization and much saving, the whole family will travel to the middle of the Scottish Highlands where I plan to disappear regularly to a little shed in a picturesque garden to practice playing and stop the too early, self-editing.
LATIN MOTTO OF THE ORDER OF THE THISTLE – ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’, or ‘No one provokes me with impunity’, in Scots ‘ Wha daur meddle wi’ me?’. Like the 3rd the best!