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Outside of Somewhere

I find myself in this strange place, Iceland, on a residency with a group of 10 other people. I am the only English person here, which I enjoy. My proposal for the residency was portraits alongside black and white photography, which is part of my practice, although not central to it usually. Starting something anew in an unfamiliar place is not easy. I have muddled and threated for days, scrawling images and writing poetry. I am now making some papier mache objects to go with the images. I'm coming out the other side of my awkward beginning, settling into being in Reykjavik and finding a drawing flow.

I've been reflecting on development and self care. I've listened to Gabor Mate talks and this is throwing me into contemplation about how much I really care about myself. Often I hang my value on what I can do for others ( as I work in a caring profession). Its ok to just be and enrich my own being. There have been times that the golden sun light has hit me in certain ways and I have thought, what have I been doing with my time? I work a lot and I look after myself but not to this extent. I'm questioning self care, which is a concept that is being used a lot these days, but what does it really mean? I'm finding that slowing down and really considering myself and my work is valuable, even though I do miss my amazing studio at Spike Island, I'm sure it will be fine without me for a month.

So far, I have walked around this city, sat in a few coffee shops and been swimming. I have driven around most of the golden circle with a group of lovely people. And, in a few days time will likely go to somewhere north or the city. Next week its my 42nd birthday. I'm born on the winter solstice, which I'm hoping means a good sighting of the northern lights. I would like to head to the blue lagoon and enjoy a day of soaking in water and maybe have a few drinks. Of course I will continue my drawing and writing which will culminate in an installation of sorts that will be shown in the exhibition at the end of the residency. I am missing sculpting with clay, and look forward to using my studio on return to England, where I can look at what Ive collected over this month. This experience away will give me material to last me a very long time.


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