I had my second meeting with Áine Philips this week. I want to write out the notes I took as again it was a very revealing talk. For me. All the reasons I’d hoped to speak with her are validated, as she perfectly understands why I want to make the work and she doesn’t question its validity, or more specifically she doesn’t question the worthiness of spending time making such work.

I had sent her the piece I made last week, Keep Smiling. I started off trying to explain that I felt my performance to camera pieces are essentially one dimensional. I feel like I am shaping the work to fit the social media viewer. Keeping it brief and very digestible. How to develop and deepen the work and give it more meaning?

She gave some feedback: first to think about

why am I making this. what are the real reasons behind it? What does the work really mean? The work seemed beyond age. Beyond gender. The genderless part had not occurred to me. I genuinely hadn’t noticed that it was genderless. When I looked at the work again I saw that of course she was right. Then start to think about this notion. Am I secretly wanting in my subconscious to be genderless? Ageless. That one was interesting, yes I am ashamed of the fact that on one level I would prefer not to be the age I am, however I fully accept I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing, making what Im making, if I wasn’t at this age and at this stage of my development. So any reluctance re my age is hugely cancelled out by my appreciation of what my age has allowed me to achieve. But am I hiding my age? Not consciously.

Áine mentioned she felt I looked in pain making the work, flipping tyre, chopping inions, over and over. I explained that making the work, getting the opportunity to make it, is a joy and a privilege. Also, the anxiety and stresses of home life are much more extreme than making a piece of performance, and can be utilised in the making process. So getting out the door to go and make something, usually under time pressure, is both unnerving and exhilharating and requires a strong transfer of energy. Subsequently, the planning, thinking, organising process which is needed to get to the creating the work part, is what takes up all the time. The physical making of the work and possibly achieving a flow state in the making phase, (tyre flip, onion chop) is the fastest bit of the process, and therefore to be savoured and enjoyed.

Other notes I tooK: Á said that the celebratory aspect of the work therefore needs to come through, that it’s not currently apparent. I need to work to get across to the viewer the celebratory aspect of the work.

other words I wrote down to consider:

depth charge. there are layers of meaning but need more. Layers. intrigue. mystery.

what the work is REALLY about. Need to write about this and share it

who do I admire and how do they write about their work?

Build your audience-

create networks of other artists who are at the same level as me- do a monthly zoom crit together- feed each other ideas and support each other and getting feedback.