My studio (atelier) residency in Paris has been an opportunity to reflect, refuel and rediscover new directions in my art practice. I got to the stage where my tools, my skills and knowledge were driving my processes and I felt empty and lacking clear direction when it came to self directing my own content. Where is my voice hiding? How do I translate my understanding of the world?
A two month residency is just enough time to allow the brain to relax and switch off from the routine and expectations of daily life at home in Tasmania (which is an incredibly busy and productive island). Enough time to reconnect mind with body through focusing on my Vinyasa flow yoga practice and other new training methodologies such as bodyART. Waking up the senses to an onslaught of sounds, tastes and sensations only support the visual experience of unfamiliar architecture, hordes of bodies, and underground navigation.
There has been writing through reflection and planning and noting and scrawling and mapping and then... nothing. Allowing for the moments of nothing to be a welcome contribution to the studio process has required some conversations with the self to not overthink or force, and just be. Almost too many words of reflections to capture and write down - however, there are many digital images that assist in the mapping and contain the essence of my thoughts - or at least, will act as a prompt.
Going back to the basics of a sketch book, a 50mm lens and revisiting watercolours has provided an insight of how I allow the self to work with what I have. They are not convenient tools and materials. They require thought, time and focus and produce moments where I lack control. I have also been documenting with my mobile phone camera - iphone7 - which has provided sharp imagery, essential to balance self promotion with my studio time and the convenience of resource gathering. Finding flow is not particularly easy but inhabiting the creative working space and showing up to the desk has allowed me to observe my nuanced behaviour.
I have an open studio later this week to share how the residency has provided much needed fuel to my practice. Enough material to set me up with questions and leads. Lots of them.
I have a performance coming up in July in Newcastle with the Ghosts of Nothing. And with that comes the building of a puppet. This one is a little larger than the previous puppets and I am pleased to be working to an aesthetic which is of great interest to me and aligns with my current research.
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categories: studio residency