A love letter to my heart – the studio

‘Heart’ pastel on paper, 2019

A couple of years ago, I drew a picture of how all the parts of what I do for work connect. Teaching, facilitation, service design, exhibiting, studio. What I learnt, was that the studio is the heart. It is the heart that pumps the blood to everything else. There are red lifelines reaching to each part, bringing life, nourishment. The heart has to pump – it has to carry outward, but it also needs nourishment coming back in. I learnt that whatever I do, it must bring something back to the heart. That could be money, encouragement, or realisations.  Sometimes the value to the heart of doing things out in the world is that it helps me to understand, to reflect on my practice.

Sometimes what I do in the world is try to contribute to social justice. This has its own rewards, and it is a form of service. I have learnt that what I bring to this service is the same as what I bring to art making, teaching, and everything else. That I have to trust the processes I have learnt and developed, to share with others. That creativity sustains us all, and I can trust that the liberation it can offer, is enough. This is my gift – this is my offer.

Feeling – transforming – making physical – sharing – encouraging

I feel the studio calling me back at the moment. I have been balancing too much lately. I have had to be very disciplined and organised. But the studio is like the earth. Deep, dark, mysterious. Loving, wild, free. She wants me back.

I have been making works for shows. I love them, and I have been able to enjoy making them. But it’s different when a show is coming up – when things have to be finished. What she is calling me back for, is something different. The earlier place.

Mud. I step forward, and my whole boot disappears. The solidity is gone, replaced by soft sucking.

She calls me to disappear into her. Cease with the individual, the drive, the good timing. Dissolve into the unknown, the many, the mass. This is my nourishment, and the studio wants to heal me. The place where I do not have to know, or understand, or divide. The place where it will come through me, because I have no walls.

I hear her call, this unknown, this earth creation wild longing. And I know, I am coming back.

Sweep the decks, remove the obstacles. The wave is coming dear one.



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