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Monthly Archives: May 2011

Spring Peepers

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               Aristophanes 444-380 BC

The studio space I work in is awash in a clutter deliberately collected over a span of many years. Books, stone, bones, fabric, words, brushes, paint, even a collection of magnets – Stuff.

In the past much anxiety was involved if ever I was to receive a studio visit from a curator or client and I have kept those contacts to the minimum. Always feeling inadequate when the question was posed “How do you find anything?”. This after spending a fraught two weeks prior to try and ‘tidy-up’. There would go my poise directly, leaving me feeling the fraud.

That all changed after reading Isabel Huggan’s beautiful book Belonging.

Her quote from Promises, Promises, a book by Adam Phillips changed the way I see myself.

It reads ‘Clutter invites us to make meaning in the absence of pattern. Clutter tantalizes us, lures us into a relationship with material in a way that is far more seductive than discernible order. In clutter, you may not be able to find what you are looking for, but you may find something else instead. Clutter may not be about the way we hide things from ourselves but about the way we make ourselves look for things. It is, as it were, a self imposed hide and seek.’

It was a revelation that the very centre of my life as an artist – the clutter that has followed me in every endeavor is seen by someone else to have value. thus freeing me from others judgements.

Where once I felt vincible now vindicated.

These two photos illustrate, as only pictures can. Taken 20 years apart and in two different studios.