home | about me | website | la coumeille                                                               

13.4.14

Ghosts




I'm picking up where I left off here. I suppose the jig is up, I am indeed on an 'art' hiatus. Voluntary or involuntary I'm not quite sure, but I often fall in and out of love with my work and right now I'm just not feeling it.
Let's just say that sometimes life takes you off in certain directions and in my experience it's best to go with the flow. My herbal medicine/herb garden are such an immersive project, both exciting and exhausting me. Nearing the end of my studies now I suppose I should perhaps think about direction. Also, did I tell you my husband had another accident
For now, I take photographs when I feel like it. That's good enough for me. Remember the thing I had where I picked up old cameras with exposed and undeveloped films still inside that I then process? Yup, I still keep a look out for them and I found a Pentax PC35 not so long ago. More ghosts of the past revealing themselves. I'm happy to liberate them yet I feel quite sad too, for exactly what I can't quite put my finger on. Perhaps I can but I can't put it into words.

13.3.14

Perturbations




CĂ©leste Boursier-Mougenot at Les Abattoirs, Toulouse. Sound and vision, performances without performers. A helium balloon producing a soundwave; a drumkit played by an intermittant waterfall and 3 motorised pianos skimming each other, their movement governed by the viewers position. Do spare 2 minutes of your life to watch this.

5.3.14

Human Nature






After a 2 year ~ 2 year? really? hiatus, Monica and I have undertaken another double exposure project. Started last summer (her) and completed last week (me) we merged landscapes and environments with people from our opposite countries. Lots of misalignment of film has given us some crazy but appealing results.
You can see the whole project on our shared blog 45N61W,  love to know what you think!


10.2.14

winter landscapes












Like bony skeletons, the bare trees and the mountains jut their pointed ribs and backbones; the sharpness of shadows softened by lower and weaker winter sunlight. An occasional brilliant blaze of white as the same sun hits the twinkling, still water or the dusted snowy peaks. Tranquility, freedom and a space to breathe, I could stay in these landscapes for hours, feeling my feet growing deep roots beneath me.

{Yashica 35-ME/Ilford FP4}

P.S. Talking of wild landscapes...

5.2.14

Freedom n°1

As I free myself, part of that process involves a lot of letting go of belongings I have. I've re-decorated and re-organised my office, then felt empowered/brave/daft enough to take on the studio. Not exactly nuturing creative deed instead it has morphed into a dumping ground, a place to hang washing and quite frankly, a bloody mess. Allow me to show you...

artist's studio before makeover

and now...


It took a good week to sort through all these boxes, piles, shelves and bags. 



Although a studio it's also a place were we often hang out. Once the weather warms up we open up the whole back, sunlight and fresh air streaming in and views to the hills. We all work on the tables out here, we drink tea in the day and chat, we drink wine in the evening and listen to music + dance. It's important to reclaim the space again, and in the process I learnt a valuable lesson.
Ruthlessness can give you freedom.
10 years ago we moved to France with a transit van full of our possessions. A family of 5 + dog, setting out on a new adventure. Since then we have accumulated so much stuff and more pets it would take 30 transit vans to move it all. My children are now young adults and this house needs to work for us for the next 10 year phase, but right now it is being choked by sentimentalism and nostalgia and sheer idleness on all our parts to tackle it. So I made a decision; if it hasn't been used or looked at in 2 years, isn't an heirloom or other treasure, it goes.
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful" 


7 binbags of rubbish; mostly dried out paints, hardened clay, gone-off plaster, broken crap and I'm the worst culprit here - feathers, river stones, dried twigs and leaves, rotten fruit that I thought looked interesting, bits of paper, books and maps I intended to collage with but never did and bits of broken china and pocket watches all got dumped.
1 trailer-full of books and trinkets, especially vintage things I've bought and not really liked but reuseable to someone else all bound for the charity shop.
Then the toughest part; I burnt every drawing and painting I've done and dislike, every print I made or photograph I've taken but I feel no connection to, and every artist book that was a failure in some way. Throughout all this I had times of deep sadness and I felt like I couldn't go on and would have to leave the studio, go for a walk or have a cuppa. Picking over the last 10 years was hard. Really hard.
However, owning too much holds you back and stifles you. It encourages you to look back and not live in the moment, unable to feel hopeful for the future. It encourages apathy and robs you of your sense of adventure. Not to mention some poor bastard - your kids probably - have to deal with it all one day. How nice for them. I've been selective and curatorial and I've kept many things; my skull and bone collection, my typewriters and cameras, materials I will actually use, gentle reminders of our journey together up to this point and objects I truly love.