Monday, 11 January 2016

A Day Lasts Only a Few Hours.....

A day lasts only a few hours, at this time of year, or so it seems to me. In truth, of course, they are expanding, the shortest day has been and gone  but the daylight seems to only stretch slowly forward into  the evenings, not back into the night  where I need it to go. How can I go to the studio in the morning in the dark? My body is reluctant to stir. The outdoor cold shower (yes, I know it's crazy but it works for me)  helps to get me into the day quickly. It warms my body instantly and stops me yawning but only if I do it straight from a warm bed. If I hesitate and stagger about in clothing before the shower it is much harder to strip off again.

In the autumn I can hear an animal settling into hibernation in the roof above the bed, it moves about for a few weeks at dusk, presumably making up its bed, then all goes silent and it won't stir again for a couple of months. I could happily do the same but I have an exhibition to work towards.
Perhaps I was stupid to accept these dates for a major exhibition but it never occurred to me to think about the effect of the planetary movements on my ability to work.

Another thing I failed to think about was photography. I have always taken my own photos, initially the motivation was to avoid the expense of paying someone else, but quickly I learnt that it was important to photograph my work in the way that I wanted it to be seen. In 'Crafty Containers' the publisher did all the photography and hung my baskets, made of urban waste, in trees at jaunty angles or filled them with plants that hid the baskets. The photos could not have been more inappropriate but I had surrendered control and got what I deserved I suppose. It was a tough lesson.  If I can help it I  don't  use flash photography, but at this time of year the light is so bad it is almost impossible to take good photos of work indoors. From past experience I know I need good photos of the work before the exhibition opens so I will just have to find a way to do it.


  1. Perhaps you could make a virtue of necessity and go with the title of the exhibition by photographing your work in candlelight -? Then when the exhibition is over in Shetland, photograph it again in daylight before it goes on to the next venue?

    1. Olga that is a beautiful creative idea. Some of the pieces are a bit too big to try that with, (it would cost me a fortune in candles) but I will have a go with some of the smaller pieces and let you see the results. Thank you.

  2. What also struck me as I looked out of the window this morning was that dawn can have a very atmospheric light. Perhaps the larger pieces could be photographed by the shore at dawn - ?

    I look forward to seeing whatever you do.