Feeling a little overwhelmed – but I’m not really sure by what. I think it is the research. I love research but I hate being told what to do. I know the reserach is to inform my sampling, so I find it really difficult to be directed as to whom to research even if their work doesn’t resonate with me. I get that exploring this is a useful excercise as it helps me become more conversant in the skills of critique and analysis, I also respect that by knowing what I don’t like I may be promted to respond more clearly with what I do like. Yet, this is a very false and contrived system of creative processing to me. I recognise that I input the world, every little bit is going in and swimming around in my subconscious – colours, sounds, movements, random facts, snippets of read or glimpsed text – it all goes in. I need a safety valve to stop it stacking up and threatening to overwhelm me – I think that’s what’s going on at the moment. My whole existence is like a research project – being confined to researching from a list feels very limiting. So I’ve decied I’m not. What is more important – that I research contemporary artists and show this in my writing and sampling, or that I follow the prescribed list and tick that box? You know me…
One notion I explored when I was working with my Psych was having an ‘on/off’ switch. Sometimes I think I’m missing some extra layer of skin that keeps the World out there and Me in here. I love the rain. I love it when it is pouring – I know where Me ends and Not-me starts. I want not to absorb every tiny scrappling and feel every tiny nuance. I want to be able to tune out. I know I’ve hit overload as I’m doing ‘the electric thing’ again. I sit under a light bulb and it blows. I touch anything electric and it stops working. I haven’t risked the computer the last couple of day as I’ve fried the printer and stopped the till I was being served at working when I went into poundland. It can be amusing but can also be incredibly frustrating when we live in a world so dependent on electrical implements. I have been banned from touching anything in Mr Man’s car this week as the radio died when I touched the volume button (it was fine when I got out the car thank goodness). I walk in front of the tv and it all breaks up into static. The boiler controls have readjusted themselves into goodness knows what… So I need some static detoxing (or whatever the term should be).
I tried sketching what it felt like – where I could feel it buzzing in me (I thought everyone felt this – that wash of adrenalin that floods from head to toe all the time -until it was explained to me that this is a hangover from survival mode). With support I’ve managed to discover what it is like not to feel this. But it’s back. Which indicates I need some kind of overspill. I’m seeing if I can channel that into my making. Moulding is not immmediately responsive so I’ve turned back to the expressive drawing. I’ve also been trying to look at these with listening. What are they saying? What do the lines mean? What quality of voice have they? Rather than judging what they look like. I’m learning that the emphasis on drawing is to develop my observation skills – trying to see better is not going to help me, but if I listen harder and feel more sensitively – then I am observing /perceiving better. I’ve closed my eyes for the sketching to really pay attention to how the medium feels on the paper, how the paper feels under my hand, how my hand feels in relation to my body. There is a very different understanding of drawing emerging.
The first sketch was done kneeling over the paper – trying to feel my body – forcing myself to get out of my brain and into bodily sensation – I was picking up the stress lines and adrenalin run that channels up and down my spine and the impact on my heart and lungs – the tightening under my ribcage and the turning over feel it gives my heart.
I wanted to tune into the these stress lines further – because if I know how I feel then it should be an exercise in translation to draw how something else feels as I can imagine myself into the feel of it.
I am trying only to listen to what the lines are saying and not using my viewing of the sketches to judge the drawing. I curled myself into a shut-down position that makes me feel safe.
Then to what does the turning over in my stomach and heart feel like:
Some kind of messy scribble of a vortex – can’t work out whether it’s whirlpooling everything in or spiralling outwards and up like a tornado.
Finally after tuning in to my bodily sensations I decided to brave it and blind-sketched my middle daughter doing her homework while she sat on the floor by me. I held two crayons together in my dominant hand.
She crunches over sat in some strange yoga type pose – she sits back on her legs then sits down between them so they run either side of her (how she does it is beyond me). Is this what I’m drawing? Is this what the lines are actually saying – or is there something else at work – am I drawing what it feels like to be watching her?
And where does this take me with moulding? My eyes trace over a surface, my hands trace another, sound creates a further surface – when I take a mould of a surface is it just the look of it that matters or shouldn’t I be aiming for how it feels and sounds and what effect the seeing of it might have. I need to stop thinking…