Second day, and the temporary studio is in place. A series of foraging sorties to the conveniently located builders’ merchants across the road, and bag loads of stuff from my normal studio are scattered across a large piece of polythene spread over a cold and unforgiving stone floor. My knees will complain, but needs must.
I’ve begun experimenting with materials and after the previous night of nerve-wracking sleeplessness laden with doubt, fear and absolutely no idea of how the next nine days might evolve and result in a fitting piece of art, a new day playing on the floor felt reassuring.
And the challenge whilst practically experimenting with materials is keeping the overall frame of reference in mind, and the constant question: how is this, what I’m doing now, informed by this place I’m in? My head is swimming in theories of space and place. Michel de Certeau’s writing on ‘Spaces’ and ‘Places’ never gets any easier to absorb on re-reading but his idea of space as a practiced place is important for me here in my temporary workplace.
The main struggle is thinking through how my painting can be truly integrated within the space. There is a danger in conventional hanging (albeit outside a conventional art context) that, as Adrien Piper puts it, the illusion is preserved of “an identifiable isolatable situation, much as discrete forms do, and thus [preserve] a prestandardised set of responses”. For me to convey my experiencing of Left Bank, I’m searching for a way to facilitate a non-standard response to two-dimensional painting, and that’s not easy.