Back again for my final visit to Milford House – final for now that is, when concerned with the Soil And Grass Residency I undertook this Autumn 2023. I am sat in the kitchen of Milford, with Olive (residential cat) on my knee. She has gotten brave, she usen’t to come downstairs so much the last time I was here. But now the house is empty of artists, I assume it will stay so until the New Year.
I was thinking about some ideas I’d written down in my secret ideas note on my phone, top secret you understand.. I copied them unto an email and sent them to myself, Ive condensed the email down into the relevant content for now. see below:
I worked for just over 35 mins, in the field. It was cold, very cold, but as I was continuously moving I was fine except for me hands and feet. My goal was to make movements, actions, until the act of making actions became easier, as the light faded around me. I had planned vaguely to keep going until it was completely dark but this did not prove to be practical- Olivia was filming for me so I was conscious of her welfare- and although I was continuously moving I could also feel myself getting stiffer and more fatigued, which was affecting my movement. We had an interesting conversation later that evening about fatigue and the midlife body.
I wore a red dress and red training leggings so as to be detectable amid the green landscape. The movement I followed is not simple to discuss- I never, never feel comfortable in my skin but thats besides the point. Its not about feeling comfortable or the aesthetics of the movement- its about the gesture of making the action.
I reserve the right to make the action.
It’s a statement of intent.
It’s an agenda.
I will do it because I can, so I will.
It is an act of forcing an agenda out there and theres nothing easy about it. It’s also an acknowledgement that I am imperfect, and that time never stops, so you must do it anyway. My uncomfortableness in my body means that the act of making movements forces me to be present and to be there, and to be uncomfortable and to sit, to stay in that uncomfortableness. Its important. To force oneself through the action, Forced agenda.
Also the repetition of action. To inhabit a space and to make actions movements, gestures, over and over again. Coming back again to how it feel so to be there, at the beginning , the middle, the end. How it relates to the environment. What is being asked. What is being suggested. Who is it for. Yes once again it is a form of mark making. It’s a conversation with the environment. Its a pushing out of, a declaration of my intention, at a particular time in a particular space.
I will edit the footage and make short films. Also to be at Milford, on December 1st, making art, felt cathartic and so affirming. Live Art has been a lifeline for me this year, when I have felt like the opportunities were scarcer and my ability to make work was more limited. It gave me the opportunity to develop new work in any which was I chose and to do so at my own pace. I am very grateful for that. TBC.