Tuesday, September 3, 2013

On wheels ... things are moving!

It's good to be finally posting images from the studio revealing progress at last.  

Everyday I've found more boxes to unpack... meaning places have to be found for all the books, magazines, art materials and such.

I've created  a few different work stations and chosen furniture to make it easier to pull off. Tables and shelves on castors help.

A place to paint was chosen next to the front windows for access to natural light and a view of sorts to the street.

This chair which has travelled with me over the past two decades is from 1920's Melbourne and has pride of place here, the kilim comes from travels in Turkey in 1987... together making the perfect reading space where I can sit and muse on any pantings as they evolve.

The following images are vignettes I've arranged on some of the shelves. This one contains small clay bowls I'm very fond of and a small pineapple I'm propagating.

An interesting aspect of the history of seeds are spices... its another angle of interest that overlaps with a passion for cuisines and cultures around the globe... and the plants that have shaped and defined cultures.

These are temporary installations whilst sorting through through everything. I've yet to put any kind of hanging system up and still have more shelves to install.

Laying things out has been such a deeply affirming activity after  what did in the end feel like too long a wait between studios. I vowed I was going to paint this weekend just gone but actually found I was just as content getting things in place and going through more boxes.

I've loved unearthing some of the things that have been packed away for 5 years when I moved interstate. This move is a much more deeply considered relocation than the one in May, 2008 when  illness prompted the move to Brisbane to be with family. It's a true experience of settling this time around for various reasons and I've given much thought to where things might go from here.

The painting above takes me back to 2006 when dealing with difficult and complex workplace issues in a teaching role that as a substitute moved between full-time and casual positions. 
Increasingly I'd became concerned with fall-out coming from all kinds of tensions, intense or failed communications threading through the work-place and impact it was having on staff. At the same time I was continually learning of student's struggles... some dealing with deeply traumatic events or challenging lives. Some colleagues manage pressures by tuning out, others measure their response or struggle. I guess I was never going to stay from the long term... 7 years was enough.

Putting that painting on the shelf brought back how grateful I feel to be in a different place now, putting energy to a direction of choice, despite the current and ongoing  uncertainties doing the artist's journey brings (she's says after a lean 6 months in transition)... it just feels so good to be here where I am now. I might not have everything figured to say the least...but there is a sense of realness to the project I pursue and no matter how many times I might question doing this art thing I don't question whether homage to the seed is worthwhile. There is no lack of conviction it matters and has value.

And if anything ... Homage to the Seed as  project is all about looking for the larger contexts that frame all kinds of smaller unique stories.

I bought these tea cups in Japan a long time ago now... 1988. They were ridiculously cheap and had a little tea pot which I just realise I've lost. The 'Picasso' portrait was done about 25 years ago when I discovered a paint that could be used on white china and fixed in the oven at not too high a temperature. I remember playing around with the paint for a time to see what I could do and I always rather liked this poorly rendered but moody Picasso rip-off plate. On the right is a DNA painting with an Arabidopsis plant imaged under the dna dots. And the small squares in front are for me totem-like, painted in 2010 and despite their humble nature really grab me in some way.

This recalls where I was at mid last year... I seemed to get very
submerged in these colours for a time... then I unpacked the little ceramic plate which was made by a Greek artist and remembered I loved this colours all those years ago when I found this... 1991 I think it was.

The effect of this last week of bringing things together in the studio has brought back the smile on my face. Yesterday I found a whole new level of contentment in my day... a somewhat absent feeling really for months following the studio contents going to storage.

I'd like to say I could do without access to these things ...attachments bring pleasure and pain. I've been reminded yet again however what an important way of living this has been to me  ...and although I know things can change, and this is a privilege I cant take for granted, immersing one's self in an animated pursuit of Art just resonates quite profoundly with what feels right for me.

Saturday night I invited a friend over who's hospitality is as warm as she is. It was high time to offer a meal to she and her partner and dinner was simple ingredients, fresh and seasonal, prepared simply. I like how restorative the ritual of cooking and sharing at the table, laughing and discussing things can be ...it really was so grounding.

This week has started with more spring in my step and anticipation of getting going again on the things I love to do. It was fascinating how I seemed to notice more when I was out today... like the fog has lifted and I can concentrate on more than packing, unpacking, waiting and sorting again! Hurray!

Best wishes all,
S x

ps Its late so excuse spelling mistakes etc...back tomorrow to finish editing!


Mary Helen-Art Saves Lives said...

What a beautiful ...beautiful post. I am glad I was able to reflect right along with you. Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

Valerianna said...

Oooooo, thanks! Satisfied my demanding request for small snippets of corners and collections... You are unpacking, and I am using this Monday off - long weekend here - for sorting through piles of books to take to the used bookstore. I have SOOO many. And magazines to bring to school for collage. Goodness, I'll have to make MANY trips with the magazines. So, I'm unpacking in a way, too, or maybe its called unloading. Phew, feels good. I know how great it is to have your studio inspirational things around... keeps reflecting back to you your passions!

Debbie said...

Your studio looks amazing, love all the treasures, its such fun rediscovering things that have been packed away.

annamaria said...

Hi Sophie,

your studio looks like a great place for both work and inspiration/contemplation. I wish you many,many happy, creative hours in your new, beautiful space!XXOO

Anonymous said...

your space looks wonderful, sophie! thanks for sharing ... such an inspiration ... wishing you many hours of creativity x

Anonymous said...

your space looks wonderful, sophie! thanks for sharing ... such an inspiration ... wishing you many hours of creativity x

Mlle Paradis said...

it all looks very very good! nice record of your summer young lady!

Velma Bolyard said...

you sound so good, sophie, and your eyes freshly happy with seeing the work. this is restorative and maybe intriguing for you as you settle in and begin new work.

Caterina Giglio said...

loved seeing how your new studio is taking place, and all the vignettes around your place, settling in, taking stock and visioning the future... looking forward to seeing where that future takes you... xo

Sophie Munns said...

So good to hear from you all!

Thanks for leaving your warm message Mary-Helen!

Unpacking and books... it takes some doing indeed Valerianna... I actually love reading the magazines again... it takes time but its great to be reminded of all the creativity people brings to their endeavours through mag pages!
Just so enjoying being in my space again!

Thanks Debbie... especially unpacking the forgotten things is just the best... now Ive done that i guess its time to leave some room for the new inspiration!

Your good wishes are most appreciated Annamaria... now to pick up your discipline for daily painting... wonder could I do that? xo

Willemien... spent the afternoon painting today.. at last... so rusty. Makes me remember how much time needed to get the flow going... looking forward to working towards that flow again! x

Mlle P.... nice to hear from you... getting there... getting there!

The sense of fog lifting was amazing Velma. I read an important story in The Atlantic this week on Harvard research showing how "poverty imposes such a massive cognitive load on the poor that they have little bandwidth left over to do many of the things that might lift them out of poverty" it made me think of all kinds of things. Fog on the brain can be triggered by various experiences ... a fact which they also mentioned... it got me thinking in a quite lively way of how the brain deals with things and what we can do to counter that or rise above it.
So it was lovely to read your words and think... hey... Ive got more band-width again! That's it! The world seems brighter again!
Article: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/high-cost-not-having-enough/6759/

Hi Cat,
thinking a great deal about the future... near and far! Have you been doing that with your move? For me the most productive part of the restructure of big move brings is that it make absolute sense to check in like this and ask... this or that... more of the same or is there something more enlightened I can bring to what I'm doing! And that can bee the smallest things or a big picture thing! xo

Cheerio everyone... thank you all!

AnnaB said...

Your pictures make tidying look fun - I'm very good at putting it off - there are always more interesting things to do (make, gather, walk, play). But I suppose once y started there comes a feeling of achieving magic when a space becomes transformed. I'll keep checking back on your studio to inspire me to continue to declutter.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

This has been an amazing post...truly welcome to your home/ studio! I envy your work space and the whole wheel experience. The chair is so available and going through boxes, papers and such has to be transformational!

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Anna,
I cant believe how from the day I got my paints out last week suddenly the space started to feel cluttered again... there's something about a working space that just is messy.

Lucky I took photos of the calm before the storm!

Hi MaryAnne,
Appreciate your words. Just when I finally started painting last Thursday I found my time overtaken with everything else again. So looking forward to getting a routine back and feeling my feet on the ground!
Such a reminder that it doesn't matter how wonderful the studio is when one is not grounded.
That old saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" is so relevant at the moment!