Despite all my fears of living alone, once I got used to the thickness of the silence, I found myself filled with an unknown excitement, the prospect of day after day after day of new experiences to discover all by myself, with no conventional restraints and interruptions!
All my ideas could be explored, any time of day or night, how wonderful!
With a torch and wellies even night-time forages for materials were possible- though the dog became a little anxious about being pulled into the woods in the blackest hour of the night, whimpering and digging his little feet in, not understanding at all that I needed that bit of branch and wouldn't sleep till I had got it.
My third and final year has started with a bit of an explosion, 'Presence and Absence' - my first installation, working entirely on my own in the 'Project Space'...an event I had contemplated with a lot of fear in my first year, but which, actually has been enormously helpful in setting me off in a slightly different direction to that which I had thought I would be following this year.
Working with the starkness of black and white was just wonderful, an experience I never seem to tire of, my enduring love of that clean contrast and the complete freedom to fill a space, trying to create as much impact as possible. I've long had a love of illusion in art, and with a wide span between walls I could play to my heart's content, creating layers, lines, forms and holes.
Is absence ever really absence?
A few weeks ago I was staying with my eldest daughter, Holly, in Brighton. A short break away from home and my last children getting ready to leave, imbuing the house with a strange melancholy I was glad to escape.
Waking early and seeing the impossibly bright light scoring the most intense white line along the edge of the blind, I was thinking about my love of working in black and white and how it has stayed with me for the entire length of the first two years of my degree. Have I grown, or have I just kept myself safe in this obsession, barely ever using any colour? Somehow I cannot separate myself from it, the allure of the contrast, the pure cleanness, so stark, so un-fussy.
But I love colour! In my garden, in music, in nature, in my home, my clothes - colour takes my breath away a thousand times a day! ...and there, partially I think I find my answer.
Art is not everyday. Making artworks is something I dreamt of for over thirty years, yet dared not try - I loved art so deeply, I feared it would not love me back, but laugh at my witless devotion, my fervent longings..
Art, is all I wished for, and is, now we are reacquainted, so extraordinary, I need to lift it out of the everyday, the colour, the continuous over-stimulation of my annoyingly over-sensitive mind, and simplify it into something I can be at peace with, black, and white, the perfect contrast.
Entering my third and final year of the Fine Art BA, I am excited! So much still to learn, so much confidence to still be gained if I am to be able to work as an artist at the end of the degree..