Saturday, 28 June 2014

working in the library

I came into the NLS cafe with laptop to do some writing, only to discover all sots of activities going on.  Upstairs apparently is a lot of interesting material which normally would not be accessible, and there is a group of people knitting in a corner and also some arts and crafts.  I have not been up to see it all yet, owing to wanting to get on with writing.  Might do so later though.

The wildflowers along the bank of the canal are really taking off now

Vetch and Meadowsweet my favourites, and like catching the reflections in the water as well.

Still writing about our time in Greece, using some of my father's old slides.  Hopefully will finish it one day and put it up here.
After that I will start on the same thing with Thailand.  The plan is to 'do' all the countries I was brought up in but whether I will or not is another matter.  It was supposed to be as a record for any of the nephews and niece who one day after I am gone might find themselves curious.

All for now.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

6 Degrees West

When I sat down to write today I had not thought I would be doing a blog, but you know how it is when on-line, one thing leads to another and you end up in a different space from the one you had thought you would be in.

So this time I noticed a post by a group of artists which I clicked on and read.  This is 6 Degrees West
who had a residency on Inch Kenneth Island, the work was exhibited at An Lanntair last year.
The group's blog is worth a good look and I wanted to share it.  Each artist's very individual approach to exploring the Island, it's history, mythology and geology, creating a very diverse, informative, and most of all - I found - moving body of work, much of it resonating very much with my own interests (geology, history, myth - layering of time, etc) and emotional attachments to that area of the Inner Hebrides.

Going through a rather stagnant and frustratingly un-self-confident time in my studio practice, I resolved recently to start making bus journeys to Borders areas, east coast sea areas, just be in different spaces, explore different town/land-scapes and try to find my 'place' again artistically. Living permanently now as I do here in the East of Scotland I need to engage with it.  Sometimes it is helpful to try to make the best of what is, and even transform difficulties into creative expression.  I just hope I can live up to my words.

The thing about being alone is to keep going, to keep jogging oneself out of ruts (if possible!) and find out what holds the interest, even, dare I hope - find a passion again.  No, not a Man!! Not relying on anyone else, but a subject, a thing, and then to commit to it.  At this age I keep feeling there isn't much time - silly because I don't know how much time there is, who does.  I guess it is a 'senior' age type feeling.

Another thing I notice, I seem always to remember a past time with good memories and think how happy was that time, then the realisation that it wasn't all so good, and the bad times were quite dire.  But it struck me - do we only remember the good times and then have to concede that there were also not so good, and wouldn't it be nice if we only remembered good times and just forgot the not so good altogether.

The idea that to 'go over' bad times is to relive them and reinforce them is a valid idea, however, it seems that for some people this does not work.  Sometimes in later life the things we resolve not to dwell on come crashing into our consciousness demanding to be dealt with.  I have found with age that I understand now how fragile the ability to control the mind becomes, and how one must work harder at it and I wish I had worked harder at it when I was younger.

So with all these thoughts going on, 6 degrees west is a great antidote and a real inspiration.
Thanks guys!