Last night I attended my first Blue Monkey network meeting at the Towner gallery. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was soon at ease with a warm welcome from Judith the academic artist leader, whose next exhibition, New Immortals at the Phoenix in Brighton blurs the line between art and science. Of the 80 members about 30 were present, mostly women, of a certain age.
Felicity, a member, presented a talk on her experience at a self-sourced residency at Ashburnham Place, Battle, and the process of obtaining a small bursary to cover coaching and mentoring. Trained as a glass blower, Felicity used the residency to explore, play and self develop, producing a series of painted works.
As she recounted her experience of feeling insecure, of reflection, of making patterns in the woods, I realised I was witnessing the role and contribution of play, and the realisation that this is what is expected of me. An investment of time with no particular or obvious output, that may or may not illuminate the way forward. How to dissolve this mental block?
Instead I find myself reflecting on my angst and trying to make sense of the process, through my journal rather than playing. A serious child, play didn’t come easily, and still doesn’t.
Through the action of writing this blog, I have resolved to address this by changing my working pattern. I normally process my slumbering reflections first thing, along with admin, research, preparation for MA tasks. If this runs on and exhaustion sets in, it is the painting that is sacrificed. By the simple action of switching my day, the creative energy will take place in day light, and the other tasks will be accommodated later in the day, or not at all. Gone will be the procrastination and delaying tactics, if that is what is going on. There will be no hiding.
This will still not directly resolve the issue of play, but that may become a natural element within my practice, by working with increased energy prior, to cerebral activity. Time will tell.