Hung Up

I’m having an enforced break while I wait for things to do stuff: the third coat of paint on my frames to dry; the photo paper and gold paint markers to arrive, both of which were ordered almost a week ago and which I, ever the optimist, assumed would arrive before I’d exhausted my stash. (I used to be able to walk down to the stationer in the high street and buy my favourite gold paint markers, but they seem to have stopped stocking them, and the sort they now stock don’t work on my chosen, textured, photo paper).

It’s taken me ages to get to this point of knowing exactly what I need to do, and I only have two weeks till the time to hang the show is upon me. The opportunity for experimentation has passed and I need to just do it. I think one of the things that’s been holding me back is the lack of a title; I have toyed with dozens, and even decided – uneasily but with a growing sense of desperation – on Unsent Letters at the end of last week. Then yesterday morning as I was flicking through my last notebook I found The One:  Eunoia (thank you Christian Bök), which Aristotle argued is the state of mind one needs in order to form friendships. Translated as ‘beautiful thinking,’ ‘healthy mind/spirit,’ and all number of combinations of these and their synonyms – the medical profession uses it to mean healthy mind – it refers to a state of receptivity. This feels perfectly right for my work which has developed over some years of just going out into the world and being open to the possibility of finding beauty. Not shiny manicured beauty (which to me isn’t beauty at all, but the result of fear created by dogmatism) but the beauty of a crumbling boat on a lush bed of seaweed, or a railway track curving into the distance, or the (found) juxtaposition of disparate elements (a rotting rubber ball on a winter beach for example). I took the photographs out of a sense of wonder, or connection perhaps, and now hope show them in a way that give others the opportunity to feel the same wondrous connection.

Eunoia is also the shortest word in English that contains all five vowels, which appeals to my writer-self.

The postman just knocked with all my supplies!

To give you an idea of what I’ve been up to this past, apparently silent, month, here’s a (phone) photo of a test piece – of which I’m rather fond – hanging on my elegantly patched wall:

Boat Piece

Here’s an experiment that went somewhat awry:


which is a shame because it’s a nice bit of wood – maybe I can have an outtakes corner?

And another:


And my table/production line:


Production line


Now I must get on.


10 thoughts on “Hung Up

  1. Blimey you have been working hard.. looking forward to the exhibition. It’s always terrifying how the days fly by once the deadline draws on…..I’ve never done anything like this, so admiring your perseverance in the face of elusive post…


    1. I think my perseverance comes from having (blindly) set up an expectation I now feel compelled to realise; it’s almost exactly the same as doing a dissertation, only without the luxury of a year’s teaching.
      There’s to be a launch party on May 5 at 6pm with drinks, nibbles, and a performance or two; it would be lovely to see you there if you can make it. x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It feels perfectly right because it IS perfectly right. See how it happens? When you’re not looking. Interesting peek at your workstation. Nice to see where the process unfolds as opposed to just the finished product all the time. They occasionally hold artist workspace tours out here. I always try to attend. It feels like looking at something that wasn’t intended to be shared.


    1. Sometimes I think it’s never going to happen, but you’re right: stop ardently searching and there it is right in front me, smiling.

      We have an open studios event here called Spring Fling whereby you get to see all the behind the scenes stuff in dozens of artists’ studios. I love poking about in other people’s workspaces, it’s like having a portal into their minds.


  3. Receptiveness. I’ll give that a vote up.

    I like your photos because of how you make the “dull” and “uninteresting” enticing subjects. I also am attracted to urban detritus and rubbish and everything that wouldn’t be called photogenic.

    Your last comment above there — about poking about in other people’s studios. I agree with Exile there. The process is as interesting as the outcome sometimes.

    I once went to the Barbican for a concert and arrived hours early because one can’t rely on the trains from Lancaster (so God knows what it’s like up your way), and there was an exhibition about the history of the architectural practice that built the Barbican. It was absolutely riveting, with lots of panels about drawings, and speculative sketches, and failed projects — projects they’d pitched for and never won. I loved how they showed honest failure too, because that’s art in a commercial setting. But it was great to see inside a practice rather than just the razzamatazz of the finished buildings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Looby!

      I wouldn’t dream of even attempting to get a train to London on the day of a concert, unless it was for some heart functioning experiment.

      I agree, I like to see evidence of the process probably more than the finished piece.


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