I went. I really got all my courage together and went.
I had some ideas and then as per usual I playing and invented and responded to mood. I tiptoed around the space and the people I knew were close by. I wanted that space to feel “mine”, a place where I was allowed to do as I pleased. Bear in mind that NO ONE stopped me, or told me off, nor made comments. The playing I did was experimenting in awareness of my own fear. And an ingrained sense of conditioning.
I used various props I brought with me and not all I had with me.
I tried first of all to have a feel of the volume and space generically as it is:
I have opened the door, closed the door, placed a brick that was already there in the middle, then a sheet of transparent protective plastic. As I was saying: I was tiptoeing. I was trying to come up with an A M A Z I N G idea that everybody would have liked. I was looking for inspiration, to see that place completely out of the box, creating something mesmerizing that would have blown everyone away. And then everyone would be cheering me up, clapping, sweeping me away, and bla bla bla… you know the gist: fear, need for belonging, acknowledgement, you name it.
I had another couple of ideas and I decided just to test one, for the time being:
While I was packing my little red trolly with my props, etc I grabbed a couple of sheets of paper, went to the cutter, and just mechanically cut them… I had no idea what I was using them for, nothing planned, just some white paper cut into pieces. So, while I was thinking about that ONE thing I was writing above, my hands went straight to the paper and I started placing it on the floor. No idea, no plan, no sketch, nothing. Then I took a step back and looked at it, and liked it, took photos and only after while looking at the photos, I realised that it looks like a human being, a man with a backpack, potentially an army man, or a man with the legs of a dinosaur. Someone from Start Wars? Or my love for Gormley has risen to a completely different level?! I found the placing of the paper so easy, so freeing, at the same time I could see how my mind was working, my lines, my spaces, my full and void spaces, my minimalism, my simple structures, which a the same time say so much. I was happy, focused, at ease, like if I knew that I simply had to let go and be me. I felt I started to own the place.
So, then, I decided to try what was my original plan. I bought some white paper cups and wanted to place them on the floor. I had an issue re. Health and Safety since my original desire was to put them on the floor and fill them with water; but there is a student on that floor who is on a wheelchair and needs access to that corridor. We managed to find another way for her to access the lift bypassing the space I was using but still, I felt uncomfortable in using that corridor by filling it with cups full of water. So, I have decided to place them on the floor, take some pictures and then decide if I could (another time) fill them with liquids or sand, or gravel, or any other thing. But to be honest, as an experiment, it wasn’t worth the hassle and I was more comfortable.
Then, I tried to arrange them in a different way and see how I reacted to that:
Nice, but of course 400 cups (400!) are not enough, they barely cover the corridor. I tried, which is good, and of course, I was thinking about Gormley and his Field, but also a prank a couple of friends of mine did when I got married, which was filling the entirety of our house with cups full of water: and it was gorgeous! Would I try again? Maybe. Would I fill them with water? Would I use glasses or jars? Fill them with candles? Lit or unlit candles? Fill them with sand? Is the origin of the sand important? Or fill “them” with other material?
Still, I really like repetition. The other option I had was to fill the room with [leave blank] and see the effect. I still want to try that!
And then I stuck some cardboard on the wall and went on a scribbling / flowing frenzy: liberated and allowed and entitled and just happy in my own body and in the flowing of my own hand. At unison with the place, the size, the medium, and the music I was listening to.
And, you know what? I haven’t got a picture to prove it! I have a couple of videos, but this platform does not allow me to upload them.
Then, I stuck on the wall scribbling I did before to see if they fit on a white wall, i.e. potentially in a gallery.
And, you know what? I really like them. I think they fit there. They are not out of place and I want to do more and create more and larger pieces based on them because this is my art and I like my art. What does this art mean, though… no idea. What am I trying to convey? What is my message? Do I have any? Is it really my making sense out of chaos?
Because then I turned my back to that wall, and faced the other white wall, with the pencil in my hand… and I did something I was dying to do and I was so scared to do because if it comes out wrong, it is there to stay. This is not a test: that is potentially the piece:
I am really sorry for the pictures: light was bad at the end of the day and the lights when on did not allow to properly see what I did. But I just scribbled on the wall, directly. I couldn’t use the other crayons etc I had with me but I am planning to expand it by buying some wall paint testers and work with them.
I felt G R E A T. Mind you, I know when I felt more confident, when I was in the flow, when I was in the zone, when I was just placing marks for the sake of filling a space. I was very aware! and I did not want that wall to end.
But the real question is: is it possible that I found my “size”? My art is actually filling up walls? I was wondering if I could cover walls of galleries with paper, paint on them, they would all be originals, and then! cut them up in A3 sizes, sign them and sell them… I would love to spend my time making stuff like that!
A v v v happy woman!