Today brings my second month as the Cementa artist-in-residence at the Fire Station Arts Centre to a close. Only one month left until my work needs to find a new home (until that home studio is built over the summer).
Over the past two months, I’ve notched up a total of nine days in Studio 2. It doesn’t sound like much when I put it in black and white, but as I’ve now said to a few people along the way, that nine days is the equivalent of nine months of time if I’d simply plugged away on my installation from my set-up at home.
So, what’s the difference? Until this residency, I thought that having my work alongside me at home meant I was thinking about it all the time and doing bits and pieces when I had the time…in between running a communications agency, being a domestic goddess and doing all the other things women of the 21st century do. I was wrong.
By serving time in a studio away from home I’ve been much more focussed. I’ve planned each session in the studio, preparing my assets (research papers, photos, soundtracks), buying or sourcing my supplies ahead of time, resetting others’ expectations of my availability and time. In fact, I think it’s also helped my consulting business too, as I have less time in the week now than I used to get things done – there’s less procrastination. They always say you should ask a busy person if you want a job done!
As I come to the end of my ninth day in my second month and look at the available studio days ahead of me, including another impending open studio event before I leave, I’m confident this work will really take shape in the next few weeks, allowing more time to prepare more works over the coming year. Cementa, the festival, may be 18 months away, but there’s still an enormous amount of work to be done to ensure that my contribution is the most meaningful I can make it. It pays to serve the time.