I have just come back from a long, relaxing Easter weekend in the countryside. My husband and I went to stay with some friends in West Sussex, and we also spent a day near Stroud in the West country. Coming from London and immersive yourself in a life of walks and slow time ticking is rather exotic, and is actually a little bit disorienting!
I have been craving more nature in the past few months, connecting with flowers, insects, the sun and just the general peacefulness of it all. I was in Devon a couple of weeks ago, and after 4 days, I really felt I could connect to plants in a deeper and much more meaningful way. I "become" the plant in some strange way, I "go inside" of it, it goes inside of me. And this connection is immensely useful when you are making art, because it stops to be just about you, you become available for "what is" as opposed to the stuff you project onto it. From this place, I can always let the art create itself, it grows slowly, organically. It surprises me, and if I'm there to listen, it will tell me where I should go next, which mark to make, in joy and with innocence, like a beginner. In art like in life, being in a space of "unknown" as opposed to "known" is the most powerful act there is. Each time, it will be different, each time, I create as if for the first time.
And of course this space is not always so easy to access, it takes work to maintain it, to access it. It is as if I needed to "seduce" this space, like a male bird of paradise flaunting its colours to attract the female, show it that I care, show it I work to preserve it. And this morning, after a few days away, I don't feel in that space at all. I feel worried, I feel I don't know where to go in the next piece, I have lost the flame and the space. All there is to do, is to sit, relax, and breathe. So I will.