I’m losing touch with who I am, as an artist, I know I am, I can feel it slipping into fuzzy memory. I realised this when I began to write about making the research artwork ‘departing selves’. I’d forgotten what it feels like to be affected by the material of making itself, the stuff we use, the processes we know so well and forget about as we make.

As I handled the beautiful cloth I’d selected for creating the artwork, an intense anger then deep depression filled me; I frequently just had to stop making the work and go and do something else not related to it at all. I had set out with a specific intention, an image in my mind of what would emerge. I had imposed my will on the cloth itself, working on and through it but not with it. I’d forgotten to factor in the unexpected, the sensory experience of making visual, thoughts which remain below the surface, in the dark.

I used to know how exciting it feels when unexpected ideas surface when making, thereby allowing new directions to emerge; I’ve spent most of my life working this way. So how could I have forgotten this fundamental part of being creative?

Doing research in such an intense and solitary way heightens awareness yet perhaps also can smother ways of thinking and being, those once so familiar as to be second nature and therefore invisible. So for this reason, I keep contact with a favourite artist, Brigid Collins, www.brigidcollins.co.uk, she reminds me of who I am as an artist………….. as well as being a researcher. Yesterday I travelled through to Edinburgh to take part in her word & image group, we’ll meet every month. As always, working with Brigid brought me fresh insight and renewed enthusiasm. I often just don’t see what’s right in front of me. Above is an initial image of that insight, one I intend to build on in the coming months.