Studio Diaries 01

This blog has been so neglected, starting a studio diary came to mind as a way to give it some attention and “invite people into the studio”. The diaries are candid, but not complete: in-depth processes, spoilers and thoughts I don’t want floating around the open internet are still reserved for the privacy of my Patreon circle.

I have the best commute, though it is incredibly distracting.

Purple mallow flowers are blooming all along the canal, yarrow is everywhere and the nettle seeds are nearly ready to harvest. It’s peak season to be in the studio, with such long hours of light and warm temperatures, so I spend extra-long days there.

Except we’re going through a heatwave; anything above 20ºC is called a heatwave in this funny little island, but the tin roof does turn the space into a casserole when that happens.

Zodiac Boxes are in full flow with 8 orders at various stages of making. What’s the collective word for boxes? I suggest “a panic of”. Boxes may not be the best project to start this diary with because I can’t show or say anything specific about them, but it’s what I’m busy with right now – that and the prolonged (in a good way) aftermath of the Cambridge event. Though I will say that one of the most fun aspects of the boxes is preparing the (astrological) scent packages with which each is infused.

Hey that pink sappanwood ink swatch on the left is enduring better than I expected! It’s been exposed to light for weeks now and still no signs of fading.

Also, today I finished my first Extravagant box, Taurus, and only need bits to dry before I can ship it. I can’t wait for the owner to see it! So many surprises and clues to decipher, or to just interact with.

Love a bit of “solid” work.

The box-making is here to stay, so it’s time for me to revisit my artist identity and rewrite a statement again. I’ve been very uneasy about the way I presenting myself for a long time now, but couldn’t work out a better way (Kufi etc is my area of expertise but it’s one means of artistic expression, not actually the heart of what I do as an artist). Now at last I’m seeing the thread running through it all.

I was deep in thoughtfulness when I went yesterday to catch this, just before its run at the Tate ended. I couldn’t tear myself away and sat watching for an hour and a half, until the dancers closed.

Our Labyrinth, by Lee Wingmei, “captures the simple act of sweeping into a performance that brings ritual and sacredness into the museum…. This performance is a gift from the dancers to the visitors. It provides a clear space, both physically and spiritually, as they explore the sacred space created by the project.” I’ll probably need a whole, private post to unpack everything that is wonderful about the performance. But even the wording of the commentary and open mention of sacredness was like a hint and a nudge.

(They’re sweeping rice, by the way. Can you hear the tinkling of their anklets?)


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