I have just returned from setting up the exhibition with Kim and some of the group. What an adventure!
I finished my last stitch for my piece at 7.30 pm on Sunday and since then, I have felt very much Iike I’m missing something. Not surprising I suppose, as I have been dyeing, cutting and stitching most of the time since January, and this project has been floating around my head for the last six months. It’s just gone, but in a good way.
Let me say that I won’t be taking on anything big for some time. Him Indoors has chuckled at me sitting on the sofa doing ‘just one more feather’, and we haven’t seen the dining room table for weeks. He has suffered a wife who has been seriously ‘feather-brained’ so has basically fed me, given me a look that is a cross between pity and ‘Don’t you think you have bitten off a little too much?’ and then left the room.
Well maybe I did.
And I didn’t expect the wrestling I have done either. I knew I would find the construction difficult. I can see things mentally, but there is this unpleasant wrestling ring where mental image meets construction skills (or lack of them). I had always thought of a figure being part of the piece, and after having swayed this way and that with various ideas, I thought I’d use the canvas (previous post) to hang the feathers from because I could see how I could do this. The Wise One challenged me though, ‘Why do you need it?’ I REALLY didn’t want her to have said this because I knew she was right and I didn’t know how else to fix them.
Kim has been lovely, helping me through this part of things, as have the group but here was my second wrestle – taking my feathers to the last weekend and setting them out in front of everyone. I was surprised by how nervous I was that a) I would have enough and b) what people would think. Well I more or less had enough which was great as I was really tired by then, and the others made positive comments and suggestions as we all stood round the cutting table. I wonder if artists always feel so exposed the first time they show new works? I have put other things into art festivals, and sold a few paintings but I don’t remember feeling my way through a process like this in which I have involved others in the decision-making. Hark at me talking about showing a new works! (chuckle). I must remember that I am just one daft ol’ woman of a certain age who has made a permanent pit out of the settee with her bottom as she happily stitched her way to something she had a vague idea about. That feels better.
Doing this as part of a group has been interesting for someone who likes to be in control. Could I allow other people’s ideas to take a place? Actually, yes. It’s rather humbling and exciting as their ideas have definitely improved what I did. This wrestle wasn’t so hard, in fact sharing and co-constructing was a bit of a relief. I was helped to ‘re-see’ where I could go and the piece is much better for it.
Well here it is, all set up at the show. I can’t believe that it and I are there. Thank you to everyone who has given money for dementia research, been part of my decision-making, been the people in the story or read about it through my blog.