Back at it again. Following three weeks of exploring potential sites and eying up likely looking erratics across Scotland, I’m now making a return to the studio.
Last terms work appears to have been well received in spite of still being in the very early stages of development. I’m glad that others seem able to share my vision.
I feel conflicted on the use of the phrase ‘time spent in the studio.’ This appears to be a round about way of saying that there is further room for development of the work I have already made, good news since I have a degree show coming up. However it doesn’t seem likely that this development will necessarily come about simply by spending more time in the studio.
After all there are many ways to spend time.
I’m still thinking about how to interpret this statement. Obviously my aim has to be to cut down on admin work and to dedicate all logistical coordination efforts towards the degree show, (I believe this is really what all artists would aim for all of the time). But here the conflict arises. Many conflicts in fact.
As an artist working in a wide range of media, what constitutes focus? The extrapolation of idea-threads through sets of material experiments? Mastery and manipulation of materials is important but so are entropy, failure and the unexpected. It is more difficult to be fully embodied in the material process when you spend so much time waiting around in order to learn what materials will do on their own.
While looking over the shoulders of painters, I wish I could be as ‘at-one’ with my materials. But while I’m out walking in the hills, I am at-one with the world. And of course I can also be at-one with my materials too at times, but this doesn’t necessarily lead to a successful piece of work. Though it might enable me to learn something that can become useful later on.
Because of the way I work it is not always obvious what counts as preparatory research for a piece and what counts as life. For example Walking of the Peats looks like a very spontaneous work that came together almost out of nowhere, but actually it has been in development since 2010 and has involved lots of people other than myself. Every work involves other people on many levels. Every work involves a lifetime of preparation. But do you need to know that?