Its been a busy few weeks for various reasons, one of which was that I made it my task to move my studio. Right now I’m using the loft, which has been great, but since I’ve made my art home there for 3 years, it has become less functional and more storage space. So not its time to clear that out, which in this case includes getting rid of some old work.
I’ve cleaned my studio before, but the prospect of simply throwing out things that I created, had spent hours thinking about and making perfect, was simply not a happy thought. But, the truth of the matter is, I was storing a lot of work that would never see the light of day again. So I’ve been tossing stuff, but what began as a semi-heartbreaking exercise has now morphed into something akin to writing an artist statement. I think most artist end up doing what I did: doing little experiments, making tests and creating a trial version for a work or series. And now I have lots of these little (and not so little) artworks that may not represent my finest or most refined efforts, but mean a lot to me as part of the process. And then there is always that nagging feeling of what if I return to this and try to make work in a similar way in the future? But, like writing an artist statement, I have to arrive at a place where I can strip down my practice to its core. The scraps of process testing that I have always done, and always kept as references are an essential part of how I work, but returning to them has almost never been. So, I’ll let it go, or at least a lot of it.
This clearing out has also made me ask myself the question, what do I need as an artist? I can’t say I have a definite answer, but I know that part of it does include having references all around me. I am not the type of person who typically generates ideas out of thin air. Rather, through learning a process I can see new ways of saying something that I want to. That’s by no means a profound realization, but maybe it is something that can get me out of future ruts. I’ve got to keep learning, and keeping some kind of reference of what I’ve learned or know how to do around me, to keep in my mind a list of possibilities.