It is time that I write something new: to clarify my thoughts; to draw together strands/scraps of ideas that are disparate in my brain, but are in fact inter-connected and close knit in their roots; to keep this blog alive! I have been reluctant to write because I am in re-gathering, re-nourishing internal phase of the creative cycle, rather than outward, output phase. I still don’t feel that I have drawn clear conclusions from the research that I carried out during my residency times in Hamburg and Grenoble this summer. But I know that we embarked on a journey that informs and shapes how I am thinking feeling now, and how the next pieces of work will unfold.
I notice that I am currently hungry to see work, and have the time and head space for it (when I am in the midst of rehearsal period, I don’t tend to have the time or inclination to see other work – it is too distracting). And so now I am relishing in my enthusiasm to see as much as possible – dance, art, music, gigs. what are people making at the moment? what are they busy with? what speaks to me?
I find myself re-visiting some of the materials that I read when I was working on Mountain Dialogues in 2010. Especially some of Jeanette Winterson’s writings on time. (Which are wonderful) If you haven’t discovered her prose, then you should. My perception on time and how I live my time is changed a little (if only in terms of perception) having read ‘Pip pip – a sideways look at time’ this summer in Holland and Spain. Jay Griffiths encourages us to disband the rigid boxes that humans have created to divide up time. They are indeed arbitrary, uncreative and rather lifeless concepts imposed by western capitalist culture, directing time as a linear rather than a circular path. We have become so tied up with efficiency, productivity, speed, progress – but who’s progress is it and at what cost? what about child time? what about play time? what about wasted time? what about glacial time? what about seeing time as circles and not lines?what about time just to notice, to listen?
Being involved in artistic practice somehow gives me the luxurious license to spend time thinking about this. spend time experiencing it – not even necessarily thinking about it. I can justify my need to go walking by the sea, to be in empty space, to read, meet friends for interesting conversations, have time for reflection, for thinking: it all feeds the work. It’s true, it does. But only because it feeds me. And don’t all people need this kind of feeding? Not just artists.
I am explicitly making time for this phase now. It goes against my social conditioning. I fight a little bit against a moral feeling that I am being lazy, or that I am only in this more quiet, more feeding place because I don’t have any other work (if i was more successful – a ‘better’ artist – a ‘proper’ artist i would be busy making all the time). But then i remind myself that this more spacious, less boxed in time is essential. that there wouldn’t be any meaningful art work to make if there wasn’t the opportunity for this phase. this is incubation time for the next ideas to begin the process of revealing themselves – and not just because i have to write funding proposals and squeeze them into existence. proposal writing is not so much a creative process.