Monday, 20 February 2017

All set up!

Some of my most inspirational objects including a pair of shoes from a  NYC Ballet Co ballerina.

Well it took me a little while but I've finally set up my new studio!
It's a long narrow built in space under my house which unfortunately lacks strong natural light and the pretty outlook I enjoyed in my previous space. To be honest, I doubted whether I could ever ignore the white floor tiles and security screen doors to create an inviting space I look forward to working in. But I believe I've done it and now I can't wait to get in there and start a new project!

Following a few interior design principles, I added a turkish rug to the floor, artwork to the walls, some extra lighting and of course, plants. I researched warm climate shade loving plants and returned from Bunnings with a green and yellow leafed Pothos which I hope will trail down from it's shelf and take over the studio before too long, and a gorgeous native gardenia which stands tall on the floor. I also pinched a couple of others in cute vintage containers from around the house. I'd love to add more plants, but in the interests of practicality and the limited space, I shall refrain.

This decorating phase was relatively quick and simple. The difficult part of this set up began at the unpacking boxes stage when I came to the shocking realisation that I have kept some materials and old clothes with the intention of "using them for something" for decades. This stash has been packed up and unpacked with each house move over those years (and there have been several) and yet I never seem to use them. It dawned on me that the fact is, I actually didn't/don't do the projects I predicted I might do. The fact is, I now work with eco-dyed silks and luxe vintage fabrics. So there's really no need to keep the eight pairs of denim jeans a generous colleague once donated. Or the old ready-made curtains I used before we had proper ones made. Nor some items of my late Nan's clothing I kept for sentimental reasons but would never really make the cut for an artwork. So I bit the bullet and re-homed them. And now I have a stash of material I'm actually likely to use and enough room to store it.

This exercise was beneficial in a couple of ways. There was the obvious feeling of lightness one has when de-cluttering.  But more than that, getting real about the work I actually do now was very powerful. It felt almost like a "coming of age" to acknowledge to myself that after all the dabbling and experimenting in different media, materials and styles, that now I know what it is I like to do artistically. I have a direction and a focus... and old jeans and curtains just don't have a place in that.

I will admit that I experienced a small amount of inner turmoil letting go of my idea to reduce landfill by creating artwork from discarded clothes/fabrics. I will continue with this quest, but the reality is, it would take several lifetimes for me to create works using all the fabric I had. Hopefully someone else can use my deleted items and save them from landfill for another 10 years! This process of letting go has given me a new energy to surge forward and create the work I'm dreaming of now, not 10 years ago. And it's rather liberating!

Here are some images of the new space. I'd love to hear your feedback...


Deb x

Ok so I'm sharing my studio with the piano!
It's a bit of a jumble but it all fits!
Mt new fav plant and a collection of rusty objects for natural dyeing. The trolley was a roadside find.
This clear desk space is beckoning me to start something...

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