It's been two months since I arrived home after spending February in Newburgh, Fife. I haven't felt like writing about it. I still don't, really. At the end of my stay I wasn't ready to come back to Shetland.
If you've read my last post back at the end of January then you'll know roughly what I was planning for my time away and why I felt I needed it. And, I did need it.
What I'd thought to write here, now, is not what I'm writing. I started this post last Saturday and have since deleted and rewritten the first sentences several times. I had wanted to share all the good things about being away (and there were many) but also, I expected that I'd be telling you about the new work I produced, or started on. I have felt that's what I should be telling you, I've felt guilty that I didn't produce 'enough', that I didn't come out of that four weeks of studio time, of having the luxury of a full month to do purely my own work, just for me, to try things out and come away with 'this number' of new handwoven designs. I've felt guilty because that didn't happen...
Newburgh, the River Tay, Fife and Dundee and Perth and West Kilbride and Edinburgh, did inspire me and, certainly, I have plenty of photos, scribbles and ideas to develop into handwoven work. What had the biggest impact on me though was the opportunity I had to observe myself, outside of a day job, in a situation I'd dreamt of for a while. I went through highs and lows - in my perspective of just what the hell I'd been doing with my life up until that point (and the number of times I'd asked myself that, vowing every time 'never again'); - in how I let the energies of other people affect me, why I use this and other 'obstacles' as excuses not to try, not to put myself out there, because after all I don't want to 'think too much of myself'. Ach, repeat, repeat, repeat...
I met many people, some were completely new to me and others I knew a bit already through woolly avenues. It was great, they were great, and it was so so good to be around creative people who hadn't seen me dawdle along doing nothing very much creatively despite the opportunities of which I could have made more. These opportunities, at the time, never felt quite right to pursue as I was still figuring out what and how I wanted to make. Clarity about my making and writing was the outcome I hoped for most from the space and time away from my usual routine. It took a few weeks after returning home for my thoughts to settle but clarity has been the result.
After a suggestion from one of the new-to-me people, I discovered a Masters course which seemed like it could bring together the various aspects of my creativity. Reading the description was like a rush of fresh air and clarity streaming right through me! I've applied but possibly a bit late, we'll see. In my last couple of posts you'll have detected a restlessness. I knew just over six months ago that everything would change this year, a sensation of knowing, instinct, intuition, I knew. I love that I am so much more tuned into that now, it's a gift I'm sure we all have, at least to some degree. So, either I'll be accepted on this course and everything will change, or I won't, and everything will change. When I know more I'll let you know, in the meantime here's a bit of what I saw and got up to during my mainland month:
The Steeple is owned by Wasps who have a network of artists studios throughout Scotland (including one in Shetland). The building, which sits on the High Street, has, as the name suggests, a steeple and working clock - which was directly above my bed! The chiming wasn't as loud as I expected and I actually came to quite like it. To the back of my part of the building, which included a small flat and large studio space, were six permanent studio spaces and a project room which was used by community groups, for cinema screenings and art classes.
I became quite fascinated by the reeds as we have nothing like these in Shetland. The sound of them, and the sounds within them.
The way broken pieces washed up along the shore of the river.
Reeds, trees, river - all offered different colours, textures, scents, sounds to that which I'm used to experiencing in Shetland.
The river.... the water, the water, the water, always the water. Rekindling my love for the shape of boats, and more specifically boat noosts.
Abrupt end I know, but that's all for now. News will follow, for more of a lighthearted feel you can follow me on Instagram haha!