I am staying as an artist in residence at the Walled Garden in Mells. There is a beautiful cottage tucked away to the side of the garden where I am resting for a few moons. Here I can settle in to myself and explore my creative practice with fewer distractions.
Immediately on arrival the reality over rides my expectations of what I would be doing. I had idealised diving immediately in to mark making. But of course, that's not how it works when you arrive somewhere new, well when I arrive somewhere new at least. I need a day or two to settle; To unpack my bags, work out a little how the house works, and for some reason almost always rearrange the furniture to some extent, such that the layout works for me in that moment. Only then can I begin to find mental clarity from which I can create. It's always the same – why do I never remember?
So today - after having spent a day not only settling in but also celebrating my brother's birthday in the gorge at Cheddar - I begin to reside. My original intention for this week was as follows:
“To use the surrounding environment and the space away from the chaos of every day life to commit to fuelling the creative furnace. I will be zooming in and zooming out of elements within the garden, drawing out colour pallets and patterns and marking these on paper and canvas in a mixture of different mediums.”
This is what has been published on the Mells Walled Garden website. Unsurprisingly, I already have other ideas that I would like to pursue, but if there is anything I have learnt in my life thus far, it is to keep the intention and outline simple, and then stick to it. Especially when working within a timeframe, which I am here. So despite other inspirations since arriving, I am going to stick to my original intention.
I spent some time writing down some additional intentions for my time here, along with a daily checklist. This may sound militant but otherwise I find the days just slip by, which is lovely, but not very productive and may leave me feeling disappointed at the end of my week here.
I have two main focuses: The external and the internal.
The external is the making:
the art, the creating
the witnessing of form, texture, colour, pattern
documenting, photographing, writing about my experiences
uploading pictures and blogging to online platforms
The internal is the inner work which I would like to explore along side the more practical, external study. This includes:
early nights and early rises
writing down my dreams each morning
daily yoga/ dance/meditation
I wrote down these focuses and checklists this morning whilst sitting in the garden in the sun. Doing this really helps me to have clarity for the week ahead.