Friday, 20 September 2013

Ramble 1 - Week 3

Description at Cambridge Botanic Gardens
Glimpse of a laid hedge

The week where everything reduces down. Where all of the possibilities that the Ramble could accommodate, where all of the directions it could go decide to go in, gradually get smaller and smaller, until there it is the 'thing' you've made.

Or should I say the four things you've made:
  • August
  • Fur and Feather
  • Feast for Goldfinches
  • On Considering The (English) Hedge
Ramble 1 has resulted in four cine-poems of quite short lengths (between approx 1 minute 40 and 4 and a half minutes), and it's all quite exciting.

We've decided not to release them (like birds into the night) until they've been installed somewhere - and this is what we're working out to install them.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Week 3 began with me writing.  Untangling words and then running them past straybird.  Then once these were fixed we recorded them with Duncan Whitley (another great artist). Next they were edited and 'cleaned up' and then the video editing commenced, drafts were shared, commented on, re-shared and then final edits were made. 

I'm making it sound easy (and in some ways it was), but it was also pretty full on. 


All, however, I am pleased to say worth it though, as the results are great... 

Something we realised along the way was that every comment we heard or made to each other, or watched or shared or experienced, ended up being absorbed into what we produced.  Even down to a label-maker I mentioned I had at one point that then became useful for producing the title for On Considering... Even down to continually getting lost... Even down to finding a cracked egg-shell under a tree...

Sometimes it can feel like you're doing nothing but you're're amassing knowledge and making decisions and creeping closer to whatever it is you're actually making....and...then hey presto it's done. It can be surprising. It can be more than the sum of its parts. It can be something very different to what you imagined. But you get there. Becky reminded us of something Jonathan Burrows says - that the piece you're going to make, is the piece you're going to make.  No point trying to predict what it will be, or trying to be strategic. It is what it is. It'll be what it's going to be.

Which reminds me of another thought I like that seems relevant here, by Corinne Julius in Crafts Magazine:

"I'm a complete nomad now. I don't belong to a tribe. I'm not a crafts person. I'm not a potter. I have no allegiance to a particular skill. Bigger isn't always better. It's not to do with scale. Scale can be a red herring. It's to do with feeling that you are using all your skills and not forcing it. It's appropriate now. It's maturity." p51 Crafts no.240

I love the comment about scale and I love the idea of being a nomad - between disciplines, between skills and of finally having the courage (or maturity) to simply follow an idea...wherever that takes you.

Which then made me think of this, sent to me from my dear friend Caitlin Newton Broad, way back when I first started making work:


Dear Sheila

This is by Anne Carson and she is referring to the myth of Ariadne's Thread and the Minotaur - the woman who in order not to get lost in the labyrinth, trying to save her lover I believe, painstakingly leaves a trail of thread like a spider to help her on her way back out...


Save what you can, Emily.

Save every bit of thread.
Have you a little chest to put the Alive in?
            (Emily Dickinson letter 233 to Thomas Higginson)

One of them may be
By Cock, said Ophelia
            (Emily Dickinson letter 268 to Thomas Higginson)

the way out of here.


Love Caitlin.


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