September and October are done, hurtled through in a hurry of dark days, incessant rain, schedule keeping, hustling through the days trying to get everything done, keeping on keeping on. food shopping, lifts, activities, homework, training, pig food procuring, dog and pig walks, emails, planning, cooking, etc.
November now. Christmas will be here before I can blink. Christmas plan- take up meditation in an attempt to slow down the speed of the days, which flash by like kids going down a slide.
Working around the unforgiving perpetual dampness of Clare, trying to finish my mural painting project. This is my last piece, and now that Negative Space is a collective of one, it is taking longer to get work finished. However, it is getting done to my standard, I am getting it done as and when I can and whilst time heavy, I will finish it. Here is where I am at
De Valera Park pumphouse box
De Valera Park pumphouse box left side
De Valera Park pumphouse box street facing view
De Valera Park pumphouse box right side
Also I am looking ahead. Kirsty, from OCA MA, has asked me to come to Austria, to her town called St. Wolfgang near the Schafberg Mountain, closest town being Salsburg, Austria. I am going for 4 days, 3 nights, from Monday 28th Nov to Thursday 1 December. Kirsty has asked me to make work for her PHD, which centres on the concept of Dusk. I will do workshops during the day in the international school she teaches in, and by evening we will sit on a bench by Lake Wolfgangsee and contemplate the dusk. All going well the third and final night I will make a performance.
Her brief to me: her PHD is about the exploration of dusk as an entity. She said in an email:
Basically I am recording or capturing different elements (called ecstasies) of the atmosphere of dusk in the village I live in. There is this philosopher Böhme, who’s atmospheric philosophy states that atmospheres (emotional/aesthetic atmospheres not weather atmospheres) are specific to the places in which they appear. So if they are specific to places, then by recording or capturing them somehow I would be able to create an archive of dusk at this site.. a new form of documenting place other than the normal photographs, oral histories, geographical maps that already exist.
How to capture dusk through artistic practice.. well, Böhme the philosopher says that atmospheres are created by different elements that are emitted from the surround things.. these elements are called ecstasies. I want to focus on 4 specific ecstasies that create dusk here..
- the feeling of loss of depth perception
- visual flicker in the air
All these are present in dusk all around the world but will be specific to this location in particular ways.. for example the mountains and the lake impact how the loss of depth perception when darkness fall feels. The altitude and the mountain air affect the colour and the flicker, the mountains and water affect the colour and the brightness.. etc.
So.. the ecstasy that Kirsty wants me to focus on is depth perception. That feeling of loss of your spatial awareness as the darkness closes in around you- that space is swallowed up by the darkness. I need very much to think about this and what I might do, apart from not committing to anything until I get to be there, see it and experience the space. I was thinking thought about a series of repetitive actions that I would undertake to use as a canvas, as a way of kind mark making with the body, during the 3 movements of dusk. cutting a swathe through the impending gloom. Would the movement pattern hold through the receding light?
3 movements of dusk
Civil Dusk: when the sun goes under the horizon but you can still read your book
Nautical Dusk: when you can still see the horizon
Astronomical Dusk: when you can start to see the stars
Before that, I have Re-Vision Festival, my third. I’d said I’d apply for this one more time- after all, 3 is a lucky number.
I thought about two proposals and went for the one which felt more true and honest and authentic. Only thing is its something Ive not done before and I have a lot of feelings, mostly apprehension, around the process. In the mean time I have to get a large gallon plastic container with one of those pump thingies on the top, to pump gel or viscous liquid out. And keep training. And make an audio piece for the performance. I need a recording studio. Who to ask for help with this? More on this later…