A WORK OF (HE)ART - A STORY OF REJUVENATION
Let's just agree to pretend that it hasn't taken me a year to post this... (blog written throughout the year)
25th September 2021 saw the second year of the cyanotyping community coming together to celebrate World Cyanotype Day, united in a love of blue and this magical alt-photography process. The piece was lovingly developed as a response to the prompt of Rejuvenation and celebrates of the highs and lows along the journey to understanding ourselves and growing as a person.
I had a year's warning for this date... and I left it up to the morning of the deadline to finish my artwork.
I got distracted for a while, thinking about the same topic which my 'interconnected' piece was based on last year - I thought of picking that back up - also with all the gardening I'd been doing lately, bindweed was on my mind and I started focusing on analogies. I'd had a lot of ideas for this in the months leading up to WCD - but something wasn't right about them. I was thinking too much, trying to make all these clever little analogies translate to the page and focusing on the outside factors (people, places etc.) of my journey too much, rather than on myself at each point. So, I refocused, I looked deep inside and I said "okay, let's just be honest" - I decided to make it about ME, for me.
Selfish? damn fucking right.
Here are some videos I made to explain what was going on (and going wrong!)
In an unsurprising turn of events, I ended up loving the digital version so much more than the cyanotype. And I am more than okay with that. It wasn't a competition, it was a celebration, so there were no requirements to enter other than the use of cyanotype... so it took it easy. Lately, I've been really focused on not pushing myself to the point of resentment - something that's happened so often with other passions I've invested myself in. So, I decided, before I even started, not to push this too much - to accept whatever outcome came from the process within the deadline, and submit, no matter what.
so that's how it went - here's what I submitted to the online exhibition:
I've made good use of this 'little' sketch since the WCD deadline, making other little artworks using the individual figures, and made a few videos using the digital and cyanotype versions.
I've been overwhelmed by the support on this little reel - I haven't had this much engagement and level of lovely comments on a post before, so I was really pleased that it came on such a personal one. It's got over 1k likes; I know social media praise isn't everything, but damn, that's got me glowing!
This project has been so important to me, it's shifted a few blocks and already influenced a few other artworks and projects.
I had the digital version printed in the largest possible size and it now hangs in my studio - sometimes I just stare at it, like "yeah, I made that..." both the journey and the artwork. It fills me with pride and inspired me to figure out the rest of the journey, because it is far from over and I know it's leading somewhere fantastic.
And in the interests of growth - here's a shout out to 'the bindweeds' that force us forward and encourage us to strengthen our boundaries.
P.S. please stop slipping back into my life and being all charming... thanks
(not sure this still works... so much change! but if you want a poster larger than A4 email me!)
let's take a second to appreciate this progress from initial sketch to massive poster:
"Between her & now" initial sketch "From Her to Here" finished design
Well, it's now September 2022, and not only have I not started this years' entry (due in 3 days... classic me), but I still haven't gotten around to redoing the cyanotype of From Her to Here ... but a pretty full-on year! There's obviously something blocking me from doing it just yet, and I am still on this emotional, spiritual and physical journey, doing the hard head & heart work, stumbling plenty, but getting up and carrying on eventually. I like to think that I've come a long way since I drew these versions of myself, and I know I have a long way to go yet, but when I look at them, I can thank them each, and promise that I'll keep going. I would love to redo this in another few years, to see how it may change, what milestones may be added, what things I might then be brave enough to show further back.