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Reset and Lets Get Going

Well, it's taken a while, but I'm back at that point - new year, new collection.

I have loads of materials and objects set up in my workshop, construction can begin as soon as I am ready, and I do feel ready. Its just the head that's the stumbling block... ***

I've always been the same, I find it really hard to make if the purpose is not clear. I know, there's loads of reasons - shows, exhibitions, commissions, deadlines - finances! What about those? But if I don't have the concept firmly embedded, my creativity seems to dwindle and I feel like I'm just going through the motions. I need to feel excited and inspired in order for my making to be sustainable, otherwise it just ends up being in fits and starts and the collection doesn't hold together with any authenticity. (During those creatively blocked times, I focus more on project work, gallery workshops, teaching etc.)

So obviously the new body of work will be influenced by my new circumstances (all my work has ME in it - to a larger or lesser degree), but I don't want it to be too overtly personal for several reasons:

a) If the pieces are too autobiographical I find it really hard to part with them.

b) I like a certain amount of ambiguity in the work, so that there is space for an audience to relate emotionally with the pieces on a personal level, outside of my own narrative.

c) I don't want doom and despair! I have always wanted my work to touch the viewer and add something positive - whether that's as simple as a smile, or a deeper connection with the materials or story that it is telling.

d) I like to streamline each piece so that they are all small elements that make up a whole, not putting every single idea or message in each artwork (which actually I have tried to do in the past!)

e) Whilst grief comes in many different forms and stages, which I am working through with ups and downs, I am chiefly focussed on moving forwards, however slowly. It sounds trite and cheesy, but I need to apply a positive slant, even if sometimes it is just a glimmer.

So, what collection name? What umbrella am I going to use to connect all the pieces together aesthetically, and also within my head? I keep on being met with opposites - being fine one moment and torn in pieces the next, so I'm thinking that is the way to go. Pairing opposites together also lends itself to comparisons and extremes. So I've been thinking about :(starting off with a noun)

A Map/ Circus/ Portrait/ Dress / Garden / Palindrome / Sea /Tales

then following on with the antonyms ;

Ups and Downs/ Calm & Chaos / Fragility and Strength/ Loss and Joy/ Heartbreak and Joy / Light and Dark /Disaster and Blessing/ Turmoil and Tranquility / Fear and Cheer/ Forwards and Backwards/  Back and Forth / Reflection and Hope

I was thinking I might have to go with a working title for a while before I cemented it together, but I think I've got it, finally....

A Ballad of Backwards and Forwards

***I'm sure many are aware from reading my instagram or newsletter that my husband died last July from a heart attack, whilst we were on holiday in Majorca.


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