Had a late night zoom with Jen from Catalyst Arts last night. Talk about changing the emotional path of a busy standard Tuesday.

Jen is setting up a project, her last one as a Catalyst Arts Director as her directorship is soon coming to an end. She gets to decide who she works with on this project and she has selected two other artists and also asked me. I’ve worked with her before- over two Revision festivals and catalyst FIX21.

She is calling it a res-ibition. Residency/exhibition. Other two artists on board are also mature/emerging like myself :) :) :) Yes this is what I am although it makes me laugh as of course we forget what we are to others. But that is of course what I am. I am not young, I am going to be 47 in two days. But I feel like I am starting out, I feel this GREAT urgency and this constant panic that I need to get stuff done, NOW. However I have had, and have, many other jobs as well as art, and have worn many other hats and other lives, I’ve 3 kids, and I have two degrees, and I am not emerging from life, I am somewhat seasoned in life. I say somewhat as its all relative :) It’s only basically in this art thing I am emerging.

She said unspeakably nice things about my work. That it stayed with her and that it spoke to her. Other things like that. Power and realness. It’s nice to hear nice things but it also makes me nervous. Theres a comfort in being the outsider. As in a freedom, as you have no-one to notice if you fuck up and make shit work. Being appreciated by other suggests a worrying responsibility to my practice. And to others expectations of your practice. Ive enough responsibility in my other life. However to have someone respond to, and very much get what you are trying to do is very gratifying I will allow.

We talked about how art is a slice of the bigger pie of life and one can only get what one can get done in the space of the time that that slice allows. Thus intensity builds!

I tried to explain how the work I made for revision- ‘Going on a Bit’, was about the inner monologue, the daily grind loop, and multi-tasking. Placing the inner monologue front and centre and the repetitive daily tasks, helping my child dress, making coffee, bringing the dog for a walk, going to the toilet, sending emails, on a loop over and over again, were the background accompanying actions to the monologue. Her comments: that the actions punctuated and accentuated the monologue and added rythymn and theatre in a kind of way.

Other comments

unique struggles of emerging mature artists. With this project she wants to work with and bring us together. People working together in an individually cohesive way. Mention of evidence of memory and trauma in each of our work and how these manifest themselves in the present.

In practical terms I cant be fecking off up to belfast every week so I will try and arrange to go up for 2 days and stay over one night. Its a 3-5 week residency but I am kind of responding to the other two artists work. What within my practice could/might tie in with theirs. It sounds interesting and I look forward to it as I always do to the start of something new and untold. Starts 22 February till end of March.

I also got diagnosed with a thing called scleritis today. A rather unpleasant auto immune inflammatory condition of the white of the eye. This is the possible end result of 4 month journey of discomfort and sometimes pain and not being able to wear contact lenses. I say possible as I am not fully convinced this is right. ANyhooo back on strong steroids and then yet another medication after that. I will go along with it for now as I do not possess the motivation to seek out any more consultants/opticians/doctors at present. If it works it works. As a friend of mine who I have not seen in forever says, we shall endure.