I went to an online Arts Catalyst workshop last week called Listening to the Fern Owl: Poetry as Field Recording. It was hosted by Nastassja Simensky and Mina Gorji who created a warm, welcoming and inquisitive space on a chilly evening. We were encouraged to consider the art of listening, through writing. We listened to a number of sound recordings, including the Fern Owl and wrote about what we heard. We also wrote about what we could hear around us that evening. With participants from all over the world it was a very evocative exercise to share. It has given me a new insight into the sensory elements of my writing.
After the workshop I looked up Mina Gorji’s work and promptly bought two of her collections and some of her recommendations from the wonderful World of Books. I was absolutely thrilled to come across Charango which shares my interest in carapaces.
I took part in my first silent writing hour courtesy of Substack yesterday. I loved it, there’s been so much fatigue for online remote anything but this felt appropriate, different and effective. I met amazing writers from all over the world and put pen to paper properly for the first time in weeks. My main Substack is Rough Hewn. I’m yet to integrate it here but I’ll figure this workflow out eventually.
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
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 think this is as close as I can get to the softly energetic pleased with myself feeling I have today. A nice time writing, a return to Jayne’s pilates, mixed with really enjoyable reading (Helen Dunmore… more soon…) and finally buying a shed. I feel unfurled. This continues to be my go to dictionary for this series. I particularly loved these synonyms and related words:
One of those nice serendipitous things where Brain Pickings, a newsletter I enjoy, took me to The Poetry Business who had been recommended to me just yesterday, via enjoying Christy Ducker’s A Scientist’s Advice on Healing. I am happily now a member and looking forward to reading Messenger in full.
I recently finished A Room of One’s Own for the first time. There’s so much more to say than this initial post but in the midst of several funding applications I am reminded of two of so many phrases that hurtled towards me.
“That collar that I have spoken of… bowed my head to the ground.“
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf (p.5, Vintage Classics)
This physical manifestation of worry or preoccupation is a concept I’ve ruminated on for some time. The Daily Journeys We Wear is an overarching concept for my present art practice. The notion being our lived experience can be manifested in wearable sculpture, portraits that enclose, cage, guard or amplify us.
I am developing a new series:
Worn: A Battleground. Exploring what we carry with us. Accumulated weight. An armour of sorts.
Worn Weft Weary. A trio.
Vestiges of an emotional battleground, artefacts.
I like the sense of a trio emerging here. They’ll be several stances forming a group I think. The W words are textural and a ripe starting place as specific words often are for me.
“A nugget of pure truth to wrap between the pages of your notebook and keep on the mantelpiece forever.”
A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf (p.4, Vintage Classics)
I loved this phrase from the moment I read it. That preciousness and the idea of a gift of words. A weightiness too though that can be burden like the previous collar. It is writing I want to write and the pressure I feel to find such writing when deadlines loom.
…I started by researching synonyms for reluctant. It was interesting to see the specific differences implied by adverse or loathe over reluctance – they give a specific motivation that I don’t have for the unwelcome task in hand. Irresolute brings the right flavour of vague unwillingness.
Emotion of the day number 22, with thanks to Be Manzini