Earlier this month I wrote a blog post for the Independent Cinema Office on Dial F for Freelancer’s work and a recent industry event I hosted. Trying to summarise the discussion that was densely packed with specialist detail and impassioned concern for freelancers was a challenge. I hoped to convey the spirit of the event and how high feelings were running amongst attendees, colleagues and speakers alike.
How can we communicate clearly, loudly and persuasively about a situation that is nuanced, niche and ultimately experienced on an unsupported and underrepresented individual basis?
Looking back on my posts, they coalesce around this time in the month. The fact this didn’t fret me into thinking I must do more is evidence of feeling resolved. I’ve been working towards a monthly production cycle for a while. A week isn’t long enough and results in unfinished lists. A while back Morvern Cunningham, a fellow freelancer, and I had a couple of conversations about organising time from a creative pursuits point of view. I’d love to have this conversation again in an online event format. I think we touched on interesting concerns.
I unloaded my kiln this morning and then cracked open a couple of saggar pots that had been fired with wood ash, banana skins and all manner of organic matter. I’d also been anticipating some plinth like slabs to seat my smaller sculptures. The pieces came together in such a pleasing satisfying way. I can always tell when I’’m really happy with work because I photograph it endlessly. I’ve tried to edit a couple of sets as follows.
I wrote about feeling crustaceous here. The idea of forming a crust, skin or protective shell is very familiar territory for my work. With these I love how briny they look.
I love the idea of having a hardened exterior. I definitely don’t permanently but it is a good feeling to be finding your shell again. This word also relates to new work on which a longer piece will follow. I did the sketch below after loading but before unloading my kiln and I was so pleased to see the same shapes emerging.
of, relating to, having, or forming a crust or shell
Having fired the moulds taken from the plaster ceiling rose (see previous Instagram posts here and here) I pressed the first round of porcelain shapes today. The hands holding tools are the most interesting to me and I’ve started to think of these as protest badges. I’m thinking of calling the collection The Furies and then individually they could be things like Fiery, Fury, Frustration, Forge, Fight. The potentially unglazed porcelain or a matte finish glaze will hopefully evoke a classical marble statue. I’m hoping to finish these for Sheffield Ceramics Festival in July.
I felt very honoured to be featured by Aesthetica recently in a piece about sculpture evolving. Lacuna was longlisted for Aesthetica’s Art Prize in 2015. I remember being asked to write something for the Art Prize Future Now Anthology. It was one if the first times I took a deep breath and wrote what I thought and felt:
“I am preoccupied by the alchemical, the haptic and the woeful disregard for the conjury of ceramics, the illegitimate art form. My work represents states of being, relies on recognition – of the everyday, of human stance and domestic scale – often taking etymological origins.
Lacuna – an unfilled space, a gap, an extended silence or depression – is a once-thrown piece that rests and melts with hidden pools, smooth folds and broken loops.”
Lacuna, Future Now Anthology 2015
Emotion of the day series, with thanks to Be Manzini
I was leant a copy of Folk by Zoe Gilbert and warned I would inhale it, rightly so. I was thrilled to find out hardback copies were still available because I knew it was a book I wanted to horde and re-read and re-read. I loved everything about this book. The separate but together stories, the links to the land and to animals and an indescribable tone that’s gentle, mysterious and thoughtful all at once. The names especially stayed with me: Ervet; Murnon; Iska; Shilla; Verlyn and Firwit. I’ll be buying friends copies of Folk for a long time.
“Dew Beater, Dew hopper, Layer with the lambs, Fiddle-foot, Light foot, Skulker in the ferns. Go-by-ditch, Go-by-ground, Yellow speckled one, Flincher, Snuffler, Dweller in the corn.”
On Monday I spent the day in my studio for the first time in months. Winter and lockdown had combined to make it very difficult to be there. It was an apt moment to take visual stock of my surroundings, how comfortable they still felt and how excited I was to be back.