Friday, January 25, 2013

Gleaning for now

Finally I feel as though I have room to breathe and the energy for creative pursuits. I feel excited by the possibilities. I have a few projects on the go and I know this year will be filled with plenty more. I'm thankful for the opportunities that I've had with teaching and I adore so much about the job, but there isn't much room for anything else in my life when I'm working every day of the week. Perhaps it was a little serendipitous that my contract ended late last year. I'm ready to give myself the time to get creative things happening. Argh! What? At the moment, my mind is pulled in so many directions. Sometimes I imagine the random brainstorm at work in my brain a little like a scene from 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' - the connections and words and lines I follow to a point before veering off to random others and others and others.

When I was still at uni studying for my degree, I saw a documentary called 'The Gleaners and I' that quite resonated with me. Traditionally it means to gather the left overs after harvest. This is what I've been doing these past few weeks. Looking at old photographs that I've discarded and notes in the margins of my sketch books. I've always found the process is as engaging as the end product so this is the plan - to surround myself with books, other artists and designers work, photographs, brainstorms, ideas, work, samples, yarn, colour, paint, brushes, pens, pencils and anything else I can get my hands on. The hope is that from these sources, a plan and workable idea will emerge.
A note about the map of the world - yes, the original etching is not mine. This is a silver gelatin print made from some microfiche film I specially requested. It has been printed just as you would a normal negative in the darkroom onto photographic fiber-based paper. It came from a rare book of maps I found in the State Library over ten years ago. From memory, the book was about two hundred years old.