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:
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 my table/production line:
Now I must get on.