time for a little time

by Chantal

Today was the first day of a weekend to myself. I’m using the time to give my mind a bit of a retreat. There has been a lot of busyness of late. The show and follow up has meant a lot of time in front of the computer and not much time in the studio. Its also meant virtually no time letting my mind wander and create the kind of stories and feelings that the making stems from. Yes I have still spent plenty of time in art magazines/books and following other artists work, which is great, but its not the same as investing time exploring the bit that fires up my own creativity. This weekend feels like a real opportunity to do that. Not having any demands of family has really meant my mind has given itself permission to take flight wherever it wishes and indulge itself there rather than grabbing a snatched moment.

There were so many things I could have chosen to do but I decided to drive to the New Forest and combine it with a trip to Artsway that I have been wanting to make for a while. The day was beautiful and the drive with the windows down and Chris Isaak playing on the stereo, full of promise.

I drove past an intriguing looking shop in Brokenhurst and had to double back so I could go and check out Pineapple Ice Bucket Retro. Its a great little treasure shop of vintage clothing, homeware, wallpaper, greetings cards and loads more.  I bought a couple of things I plan to use for future artwork and a pretty neck-scarf  which will obviously make me look just like Audrey Hepburn 🙂

With purchases loaded up next was time for a late lunch. I stopped at Sway Manor and took a full English afternoon tea in the grounds. I took out the Keats poetry book I’d picked up from a charity shop and another hour passed by.

“sleep in the grass, feed on red apples and strawberries, and choose any pleasure my fancy sees” (Keats)

Rachel Goodyear, Faun With Hand

Artsway was just across the road. A great gallery space and the show “Based on a True Story” bought together some very engaging works. As my own work enjoys the merging of fiction and reality to create a new narrative, I was drawn to the title and concept of this show. I went expecting to love (and wasn’t disappointed) Rachel Goodyear’s intimate drawings on paper and found ephemera. What I was surprised by was how much I was moved by two of the video works (not usually my preferred medium). Ronnie Close’s Night Room was an uncomfortably intense and intimate work exploring the Irish Republican Hunger Strikes in Northern Ireland. The other video work that really impacted me was Kirk Palmer‘s Hiroshima. This film is a real joy to watch in the same way as when you choose to sit back from yourself for a moment and watch the people and life around you and enjoy the nuances and patterns that unfold. The footage is poetic in its display of the visual patterns and rhythms of life. We see contrasts of natural and man made, of large and small,  but also the parallels of beauty that join them together.

I finished the day with a walk on the heath in the forest. It was beautiful, I felt more refreshed than I have in ages and my mind was full of daydreams and ideas just as I had hoped.