Sat here in the kitchen trying to do some administrative work that has been hanging over me for the weekend. I’m not getting very far with it but then again the weekly shopping is done, I’ve made dinner and cleaned up, made the school lunches, the kids are bathed, uniforms have been located and music practice is done so I’ve not exactly been dossing or sitting in front of my laptop paralysed by existensial angst.
Culture night was on last Friday just gone- I had 2 of my film works showing in glór. Well, Pushing Through was made as a digital piece of work. Ode to Sisyphus- Tyre Flip is a documentation of a live work I suppose you could say. Nick the technical manager did a very nice job of installing the films in the studio- it was very dark, just as I’d hoped, and 2 benches has been placed in there with printouts of the accompanying leaflet placed on each bench. He’d upped the contrast of the projection and had made the projection as large as it would go, so to increase the immersive effect. I felt it was a great environment to show the films.
I am NEVER happy with where I am at career wise, but I sat there in the darkness and watched the work I thought about the fact that to have glór supporting me and offering up quite abstract work like this to the people of Ennis, Co Clare was a good thing.
I always worry re what people wll think of my work, even though If I am going to worry about that I should just do paintings in frames and stick them on the wall, which people understand, and stop making abstract films based on the idea of waking up from a bad dream. But I am proud of this work, I had a clear vision of what I wanted to make, and I stuck to that idea and after much trial and error I got as close to achieving the effect and look that I wanted. It wasn’t easy. Whether 5 people or 55 or whatever amount of people saw the work on Friday I don’t know. It doesn’t matter really, I just hope anyone who did watch it went off about their business but then a day later or so something weird happened to them and reminded them of the films. That would be great :)
In my gnomic description of the work for our MA catalogue in the summer, I wrote:
“Pushing Through is neither a story nor a message. It’s a glimpse into a netherworld of blind groping, pushing, violent shoving and bouncing against a rippling pool of black. The work addresses the Sisyphean act of pushing against something that won’t give, and claustrophobia. How the work affects the viewer, if at all, is not predictable, but if echoes of it re-appear in your dreams then it has done its job.”
This description could be interpreted as utterly pretentious or an act of desperation, written purely to meet a deadline. Its hard to write about your work. There’s no talking in the film. Therefore talking about it makes it even harder. Never mind.
As I was leaving glór at lunchtime on Friday, during the day part of Culture Night if you follow me, I met some of the residents of St Josephs Hospital, Ennis, who had come to glór for a visit and to see my work along side the other events. I worked with the residents of St Josephs on a project last year and it was quite literally an amazing experience. To see them coming in to support me (and wondering what they would make of the films) was just lovely. I don’t know what they thought of the films, but I learned while working with them never to pidgeon hole them and make any assumptions about their preferences, so there’s no reason to just assume they wouldn’t like the work. After all they are a bunch of individuals living in the same space, that is the only generalisation you can make about them. Anyway seeing them sat there drinking their tea (and whiskey) beaming away was probably the best thing about the day.