Thursday, 6 August 2009

Don't Miss Today

I missed.
I have been very busy.

This week I have felt strongly the conflict between personal and professional practice. We currently have a lot of work coming through the studio and it has been difficult managing that alongside personal work for exhibitions. It has not necessarily been difficult to find time for the two, but my social life has suffered slightly. But it is good to be busy. When the two seams of my work run alongside each other so closely it seems like neither are given enough time, but what actually happens, it seems, is they become closer, ideas weave together and one informs the other so the differentiation of what has been commissioned and what hasn't, what we are getting paid for and what we are doing for the sake of making something, and what we see as might be beneficial or not becomes irrelevant. there are things to be done, and they must be done.
It also becomes strange when the people you are working with day in, day out, in a professional but also personal way are your very good friends. When working on studio projects it easy to draw a line between a business and friend mode, when time becomes tight and we are working every minute we can on various projects it can become a bit stressful and I am aware in myself the ability to get bummed out occasionally. When working so closely with others this can easily transfer to the other members. It is necessary to take a step back and realise what we have is pretty special and we are in a very fortunate position, that has arisen not only through circumstance but hard work.
So basically what this comes down to, although I'm sure they already know, is, yes, a day's a day, don't miss today and thanks.
We trudge on, and we will get there,

Beyond mountains, more mountains...

Mountain Patterns
Work has been continuing steadily on my work for Massive Contact. As well as a nearly three meter by 1 and a half meter banner that I have been stitching I am attempting to make some felt boots (with, I should add, the good help of my friend Hannah).

The goal:

My attempts

From a book on Chinese Nuosu mountain culture:
"Felting is a process requiring considerable skill, and one that is undertaken by males. But not every man knows how to do it, so a family that needs felt products will hire a known felter."

I think i should have enlisted the the help of a known felter.
It is exciting when the process starts. You are suddenly swamped with the idea of endless possibilities. You could make anything. Then the complexity of the process steps in, and whilst it doesn't exactly take the fun out of it, you are reminded that there perhaps is a reason why everything is not made in such a way.
The point of the objects i am crafting at the moment is not to have display a skill in crafting, a perfection, but to revel in trying something, returning to the handmade, trying something that may not be easy, exploring techniques of indigenous peoples. i am fully aware that the the items I am creating are not of a standard that these people would expect or maybe even appreciate, but for me the carry a beauty that will speak more about the process, and the activity of making something with your own hands.

Whether it will be successful or not will remain to be seen, but I have had fun in trying, and maybe that is most important thing.

'Fancy A Quickee?'

Something I saw this week that troubled me was a van, emblazoned with advertising for a company that offers 10 minute phone charging around the city centre. The product offered was called 'Quickee', the motto asking if potential customers would indeed 'Fancy a Quickee?'.
I do not consider myself a prude, and I think the reasons why this bothered me do not make me prudish, just concerned. I am not worried that our little vulnerable children will see this and run around the school playground asking classmates if they fancy a quickee. What it does exemplify for me is the trivialization and commodifcation of sex in our culture. It is not the fact that sex is being put in front of people who, upon seeing the frankly horribly conceived and designed advertisement on the side of a transit van maybe stripped of their innocence, it is the fact that upon having something that is meant to be something concentrated in emotion attached to such a mundane and frankly unnecessary nugget of capitalist culture, makes this seem dirtier and seedier than it ever should be. It is things like this that strip the simple beauty and bring it down to a level of it seeming filthy and something that children should be aware of.
Like the overuse of words like genius, love and hate, where do you go to when something that should be so special, potent becomes diluted. It just seems sad.
Not prudish but maybe traditionalist, which to some may make me prudish, but this is not something I'm ashamed about.

I am very much looking forward to going to Newcastle,
See you soon,

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