Now there is a headline suitable for any local newspaper! Cheesy or otherwise… But one way or another RISE shut for the last time tonight, it’s been a great opportunity to show with a fantastic selection of artists – thank you to all involved!
‘I really hate the tourist artist who touches on real things that have real meaning to the people of the community, then goes home… as I call it, “Rich southern artist gets paid to make a monument to the non-existent industry in depressed North in the material of that industry that is to represent the pride and resilience of the people made unemployed then goes home to his studio in London.”
This is a short section from Alistair MacKinven found on the Lismore Castle Arts website (www.lismorecastlearts.ie/index.php/st-carthage-hall.html), and led me to pondering about the right way to go about making work as a resident artist in an unfamiliar place. Although Kirkcudbright doesn’t stand at starkly unfamiliar or foreign (being only an hours drive from the familiar), it does stand as different – quiet, slightly quirky and tourist driven, and for some reason often more sunny?! But that is the point of view of tourist, and outsider, I suspect a more local perspective to be slightly different.
So far, the work I have produced has not really had much reflection on Kirkcudbright itself, but perhaps a broader perspective of Dumfries and Galloway, and working within a more rural environment; which I can relate to with more confidence… Natural objects are finding their way into my practice amid the lightbulbs and mobile phones, as I begin to cast fir cones, acorns, rose hips, and although a hike around Hoddom during the week proved fruitless, I do soon hope to find some conkers to add to my slightly odd collection…
After nearly two months of crawling along at a snail’s pace, it is finally time to up the game – I feel a month or so of intense work, and some more exciting outcomes! On a side note, I picked up my new Kiln from Innerleithen that I won on ebay over the weekend… so this could be the start of a whole new element of work – can’t wait to get it wired up and tested!
The past week/or three may have been mildly manic… I think I have done everything at a sprint for better or worse!
The studio is my oasis of calm, where time and everything else seems to stop and I can breath, for a short time feeling in control of the situation – at least until another mould makes me angry!
So the process may not be progress this time round, what could go wrong – mostly – already has, and for the first time in quite a while there is a distinct possibility that my work will not be ready on time (RISE opens next Thursday). My work feels to be in a stage of transformation and change, but it hasn’t got to where it’s going – so the piece shown at RISE will too have a transitional feeling. At least hopefully it will and not just appear lost and slightly mad! I’ll know by next week.
The kiln hunt continues but until The One is found, explorations are beginning in the possibilities of unfired clay within my installation.
Temporal Permanence, Copied authenticity, artificial naturalness – my work currently strives to embody contrast, conflict and opposites. It’s going to be an exciting show, and an exciting week!