Thursday, May 08, 2008

The optimist and the pessimist...

An optimist and a pessimist were walking along together.

'I don't know,' said the pessimist. 'Things couldn't really get worse, could they?'

'Oh I'd never say that,' replied the optimist....


I don't know why, but that joke always makes me laugh. And it's all about a different way of looking at things - seeing things aslant, which is why I will persist in putting the photographs up on this blog in a sideways fashion. Nothing, no nothing, at all to do with the fact that I keep trying to save them rotated but my laptop just won't let me. Anyway, moving swiftly on... this photograph is of the very talented Canadian textile artist, Anne Kelly who I'm lucky enough to be working together with on a top secret project this Summer.



She came round to show me her latest work, which I show to you...



Just look at this close up of the bug...



These pieces are all made of recycled materials, and most of them done by hand. The photographs don't do them justice as I can't tell you how beautiful they are in real life, and how lucky I feel to see the different stages and ways of thinking involved in creating them. Actually now I think of it, I'm going to ask Anne if I can take some pictures of her artists journal as she works out some of the thoughts behind the work we're doing together and compare them with my pages of words as I struggle with the same process. It's been interesting to me to see how different visual planning is - not quite as polarised as optimist and pessimist, but definitely another angle. It makes me realise how much I need to work out what I think through actually writing - lists, dialogues, poems, free association, freewriting, mind maps - it doesn't matter what form as long as the pen is moving and I'm using words. I wonder if I dare try a drawing? Or even - as Twyla Tharp suggests in her excellent book, The Creative Habit dance it out. The thought makes me freeze with self-consciousness in a very stupid English way, which probably suggests I need to give it a go.

(Oh, but look, I've managed to make Anne stand upright. That'll please her. I'm obviously - finally - becoming the boss of my computer. This is a happy day. I wonder if it will mean no more error messages and just cheery little 'Mission Accomplished' notices every time I try to do something different? Let us be optimistic. After all, things could hardly get worse ...)

2 comments:

jem said...

I think its rare that any form of creation arises in isolation from other forms.

Before I started blogging I often saw certain pieces of my writing needing a visual element to support / enhance them. Manipulating images and words together allowed these pieces to prosper in ways that paper and pen couldnt quite achieve.

Alex said...

Shedworking would simply not exist without pictures. The words are nice, but 98% of the emails I get saying that they've enjoyed the site say that they love the site because of the images rather than my tightly honed prose.