When I embarked on this month of daily blogging I knew it was going to be a challenge; not because of a lack of material or topics about which to write, but because I am still rather busy in my professional life and with family, friends and community.
This is our week of hard rubbish collection. It happens twice a year in our shire and we usually put something on our nature strip (curb side) to be collected. This year, however; we have rummaged, sorted and cleaned, and we have filled our allotted maximum two cubic metres.
Has it been hard to do? Yes – and no. It was easy to discard what has become ugly and unusable due to collected dust and rust. Things we’ve outgrown or no longer want or need have been loaded into the boot of the car to be taken to a local charity where they can be of use to others. Also easy.
The hard things to part with are the many items for which I can see new purposes, the things I have collected that I know I could use one day and the things that have sentimental value that I have cherished – and have also preserved in boxes hidden in cupboards like buried treasure. Then there is all the paper material: reams of research and notes, and first or second drafts; reference pictures and journals, and the list goes on.
If I were marooned on an island with no distractions and a faithful man Friday, perhaps – just perhaps – I would have time to use it all . . . but no . . . I would have more ideas and create my own distractions . . . for ideas breed ideas even in isolation. Take a look at the whiteboard in my studio space at Chisholm last year – one thing leads to another.
The act of making choices in the process of de-cluttering is symbolic of what I’ve been doing in my arts practice in the last year. While I have been honing my projects and narrowing my focus, I have not abandoned other genres in which I might work later. I have continued to collect materials and references, jotted notes and ideas in my journal and iPhone, and kept in touch with others in my network.
As I work towards having my own studio, I have had to rationalise what will go in it and how I shall store everything so I can have access as well as room to create.
It is very well to have lots of stuff, but one needs the time to use it, as well as appropriate storage to keep it in optimum condition and an excellent filing system for retrieval.