What I have achieved so far with my residency

Started the development of a significant body of work featuring drawings, writings and performance sequences.

Spent time reflecting and considering how my carer job and identity has shaped my work and my relationships. My everything really. Its as if the award of the residency gave me permission to go down a rabbit hole with this subject matter, and sort of officialise a subject thats been unofficially influencing my work since forever. I was able to spend time looking objectively at how my carer role shapes everything.

Struggling to respond adequately to the situation- to respond in such a way that does justice to the topic. This work I’ve started making feels like the beginning- like dipping my toes into the water of a large swimming pool. Maybe allow myself the idea that it is the beginning, and as said before, things don’t have to be fully formed and realised at this stage.

I suppose all work only suggests and highlights, not necessarily encompasses. And even if you arrive at fully formed work with strong intentions, they, the intentions, exist for you only. If you should be able to show it to the world, it’s not for you to dictate how it gets interpreted.

Was reading recently- your work should ask 2 questions- what do I want it to say, and what questions should it ask of an audience?

I want to indicate the many layers of caring, the lack of simplicity to the situation. To show that the preconceived notions of power, empathy and responsibility are not necessarily what you might think they are. The emotions and social complexities are not easy to explain.

I also wanted to reflect on myself, and how the permission to spend time with this subject has brought up a lot, and the more time I allow myself to think the more it provokes. The central themes of my caring role remain unchanged, my struggle to achieve everything I think I should be doing, and the tasks I know I should be doing.  However nothing else stays the same, and as both of us get older our relationship and our needs and our desires also change.

Significantly I am trying to reprogram my need to justify and produce. Frenzied production is not necessarily the answer to all life’s questions. A lot of them though.

limerick Heuston leg

I’m on the train en route to Belfast. Leg two of a 3 train journey. 4 if you count the Luas. But I wont today as its not raining so I’ll walk from Heuston to Connolly. Get some movement in before another concentrated sitting session. I have 2.5 days. 2 and a half days all to myself to think and make. I am going to try and visit a few spaces I know, and organise materials to make a large scale drawing on Thursday. Thinking canvas if I can source it.

My lovely friend from my MA group Kirsty responded when I was telling her about the residency

‘And the feeling of anxiety about needing to produce things in this time … isn’t that the whole deal with being an artist carer parent anyway? I mean Isn’t that exactly what is at the core, the need to make but having only moments of time that they seem like precious gifts of time.. and gifts of time turn out to be laced with pressure to do good with it and guilt if you don’t.
I don’t know, but it seems like if you could bottle and present that feeling you would show exactly what being an artist parent actually is.’
I had a quiet morning in the gallery space today, I got the last 4 interaction drawings finished and up. It is interesting being here in the peaceful space, it feels wanton, this precious time as Kirsty put it, to have all this time, these few days, to myself. Ive stopped worrying about justifying every minute of it- I will embark on a big drawing tomorrow and just enjoy it and take my time. Nothing will get finished tomorrow and thats ok.
This evening I learned that Sinead O’ Connor passed away. Her beauty and persona were so legendary. Thinking of her three remaining children.