Re-engaging with my personal art practice has opened a little window in my head. It’s hard not to describe this without sounding cliched but that is how I imagine it. My head is a busy place. I am easily consumed by whatever my current focus is, ideas whirling, fretting over whether things will work, am I doing enough?, have I thought that through?, why haven’t I done that before?, what if I did this…? those who know me know that switching off is not something that comes easily to me.
Making art has always been the mechanism that completely diverts me. Like a switch on a railway line. Maybe that’s why I haven’t devoted as much time to it over the last 10 years, teaching needed its own track. I have been making though, creating lots of things and exploring new ways of working, picking up new skills, trying out new techniques, I haven’t been creatively silent, I couldn’t be. So what has changed then? If I’ve been learning new things, making, creating, why is this different?
I make stuff… I am always going to make stuff, but the opportunity to really focus on making art is, for me, different to the regular ‘making stuff’.
This little ‘window’ is like a way out, a new view. Funnily enough it turns out it’s not a new view at all, it’s an old one, same themes, same questions, just some years on. Reading Tim Ingold’s ‘Lines, a brief history’ has really supported my current practice. He discusses the idea of story telling as

retracing a path through the world that others, recursively picking up the threads of past lives, can follow in the process of spinning their own. But rather as in looping or knitting the thread being spun now and the thread being picked up from the past are both of the same yarn. There is no point at which the story ends and life begins” (Ingold, 2007, P90)

This is how I feel about my making, the threads I am picking up are not new, and not only my own. They are ideas and thoughts and questions that I and others have had and will have in the future. The exciting thing is that I have the chance to pick up those threads now, and focus on them, enjoying how I think about each one, adding all the new things I have developed over the last number of years, weaving in my experiences and seeing how that changes things.


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