I used to write, a lot. Back in 2012/2013 I was blogging 3 or 4 times a week on here, and writing frequent guest posts in various other places too. My written output has steadily declined since then. I’ve only written 10 posts in the last six months, and several of those have been written primarily to show new and emerging art.
I feel rusty, yet for some time there’s been a loop playing in the back of my mind, telling me to return to writing. I feel a need to stretch this form of creativity again, but a decline in my mental health over the past couple of years in particular, has helped make it all too easy to ignore. I might write on the theme of doubt, depression and burnout once I get into my stride, but for now…
Thanks to the support of family and friends, and regular counselling, I feel ready to go again. I put this note on Twitter a few days ago:
I am going to write a series of ‘active’ pieces about work. Each piece will have an ‘ing’ title, for example: Giving. Asking. Making. Facilitating. Connecting. This will be a way for me to restart the writing process, and get back into a habit of sharing stuff. I am currently struggling to commit – I think I need to embody the Consulting Artist tag more wholeheartedly, and this feels like a good way to get better at that.
So here it is, the introduction to a new body of work, this series of active posts. In itself it’s not much, and yet it feels important to me, the right way to (re)start. More to follow…soon.
My friend Andy Copps recently invited me to take part in a storytelling event in London, called Stories of Hope and Courage. I was asked to provide some live art to accompany the stories as they unfolded, and there was some live music in the mix too. We gathered to be entertained, and to support Donate4Refugees, a small charity which provides essential shelter, warmth, food and other critical daily needs of refugees and migrants in Europe. You can find out more about them here. I sat at the back of the room, I listened, and began to draw.
In the run up to the event I decided to frame my work around the enso symbol, a hand drawn circle symbolising a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. Given I had not heard the stories beforehand, this felt like a useful way to begin each art work. As the stories unfolded, I made an enso and added symbols within each enso to reflect aspects of the tales as they drifted by me on the air. Most of the ideas worked, one or two did not, and ended up in the bin 🙂 After the event I photographed the art works. Here they are in close up, and mounted and framed.
These original A4 signed art works (unmounted and unframed) are available to purchase at a cost of £25 each plus £5P&P. £10 from each sale will go to Donate4Refugees along with the donations of £105 which were raised on the night. If you’d like to purchase one or more of these works, you can do so via my PayPal page. Thanks in advance for your support.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the free art project extending into Europe. Since then, I’ve accepted a kind invitation to show some of my art at an exhibition in Minden, Germany.
Minden is one of the towns twinned with our borough, and next March there will be an arts festival to celebrate Minden’s 40th anniversary of town twinning. I’m choosing to show some works from my I Guardian series, which is an exploration of mental health and the human condition. Earlier today I sent off my submission to the exhibition catalogue. This is a first for me, and I can’t quite believe it’s happening. I’m excited and grateful, and a great reminder to me of the importance of some of what I learn through my free art project, namely:
Be curious. Start something. Keep going.
In case you are interested, here are the works I’ll be showing next March. I use the words ‘I’ll be showing’ quite intentionally, because I’ll be at the exhibition when it opens.