Last Friday I had a skype meet with Moran, and we talked about the upcoming group show she is curating for Dec/Jan in glór. I was a bit discombobulated as a lot of my head space was taken up with the following days performance at Revision Festival but it was rally good to talk and helped steer my thought process in a useful (to me) way.
I had had this in my head all the previous week and had been mulling over ideas. I had made some visual notes in the form of strong women I had come across in books, kind of like a generic entry into the thinking process. Im going to make some notes now about the notes I took while we spoke. I need to take notes as I have accepted my capacity to retain information at any given time is minimal.
Moran spoke about a word- arspoesis, this is my phoenetic spelling clearly NOT how it is spelt in real life: ) its most closely translatable as the artistic process or looking for a muse. Sonnet 100, shakespeares sonnets
Where art thou, Muse, that thou forget’st so long,
To speak of that which gives thee all thy might?
Spend’st thou thy fury on some worthless song,
Dark’ning thy pow’r to lend base subjects light?
Return, forgetful Muse, and straight redeem
In gentle numbers time so idly spent;
Sing to the ear that doth thy lays esteem,
And gives thy pen both skill and argument.
Rise, resty Muse; my love’s sweet face survey,
If time have any wrinkle graven there;
If any, be a satire to decay,
And make time’s spoils despisèd everywhere.
Give my love fame faster than time wastes life;
So thou prevent’st his scythe and crookèd knife.
Other words and phrases I wrote down during the conversation: I can be outcome orientated :) Need to think about the artistic process. The story of strength. Context of the rural.
Emma: works with flour and water, makes dough
Emily: is a weaver- makes 2d natural fibre structures
My material starts with my body. The ENERGY. energy of the body making an action in relation to the material.
My homework as such: SLOW IT DOWN. Go on a day out. to a village and observe. Observe the people, the women. Make drawings of women. Only vertical lines. No sideways lines. Unfinished drawings. Now outcome orientated drawings :) Keep these in a separate Heap from my heaps of other drawings in the studio.
The Rural woman. No such thing of course. Keep the performative aspect of my work within the visual practice for now. Take a methodical approach for observation. No labelling, just a record of what I see. Not looking for the good/bad in things, just a visual record of what I observe.
Learn not to see the lemon, but look at the shape of the lemon. This is an approach to help find out what I have to say about this story. I am not seeking to answer questions or deliver outcomes, start thinking about it as a circle, slow it down, its a significant project.
When I finish talking to Moran I will have my own questions. Yes I get this , I will have developed a body of work which will, as always, raise its own questions, all work does.
In regards to the space- other two artists are delivering more fully formed responses. Mine is to be more of a collaborative curatorial practice with Moran, and the work will be like a changing organism where there are regular developments as the show progresses. Lucky for me I document everything and I think I am starting to understand that the process will be the work in some ways here.
Also I am already IN the rural, I live in a rural place, and still approach it as an outsider or thats how I feel, who is observing a way of life that is alien to me. I hear the other women, parents, at the school talk about hurling, football practice, and constant talk of communions and how much of a big deal these seem to be and it genuinely feels like a different ecology to mine. How catholicism, or at least its practices, is so rooted in their lives, and there’s a general acceptance (by them) that everyone is the same, and how they talk about parishes and townlands rather than a geographicical namesake. its interesting but also repellant to me I have to admit. I acknowledge and understand that my experiences as a rural woman are no more or less valid than theirs and that it’s not a competition, more like an alternate belief system. And that as mentioned earlier there is no right or wrong way to be a rural woman :) I think I’d like to go to a hurling match or something and try and draw the onlookers, if there are many women who go to them. I have absolutely no idea :)