A new chapter

A new year begins, and with it come fresh hopes and plans for the year ahead. The end of 2009 saw the submission of my PhD thesis, followed by a period of substantial recovery and reflection. There still remains a certain amount of resolution to be made – both in terms of the final examination of my PhD and in terms of my feelings towards it and its relation to my future, but along with endings and beginnings there must also be continuings and ongoings… November saw the performance of two works on the same day, but in quite a different way to the performance I made of Becoming-snail and -locust at Queer City Cinema in Regina last year.

The back-to-back performance of two untitled works at tactileBOSCH and Chapter Arts Centre worked well, transported as they/I were wrapped in felt in the boot of a car. I liked the sense of arriving outside Chapter to begin something that was/had clearly already begun (I tottered into the building in a shamanoid trance, covered in soil, black paint and glitter) and embracing the mystery and gaps that existed between them. I have to be careful not to become too self-obscuring and esoteric, but there was something in the bemusement that I created both in the arrival and in the performance of actions themselves that felt engaging and powerful.

In this moment of transition, reflection and resolution, I have been drawn to readdressing the notion of the spiritual and the shamanoid in my work. No longer mainly as a (problematic) academic or theoretical concept, but as something to which I can (and do) connect, something that I experience both in my own artwork and in that of others, and that I feel important to the wider practice of (my) life. New work is planned for the NRLA in March, about which I’m very excited and enjoying preparations, and a couple of smaller pieces, in Bristol and possibly elsewhere. I also have ideas for a much bigger project which will take a lot of time and work and which I’m keeping under my hat for now, but will I’m sure take shape in due course…

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