Art and deadlines must mix when exhibiting, and yet arts practice doesn’t always want to conform to a deadline. It takes time to sort out creative thoughts, and most artists need ‘daydream time.’ In this time we appear externally to be doing ‘nothing.’ We pace, weed the garden, in my case watch the Ulysses butterflies and cockatoos fly past in the late afternoon. No one can rush me, not even me. Internally in daydream mode artists are shaping, creating, moving, transforming and generally trying to surf the waves of creativity into a cohesive piece to share with others.
Everyone works differently to a certain degree and I started out with the impulse to photograph a journey- either back to normality or as faraway from cyclone Yasi as possible, I don’t think I knew at the beginning. However now as I reflect on my processes I was attracted to joy, light, nature, happy people, glimmers of hope and the rebuilding of lives and our towns. Sequences of events, like regreening, and Prince William stepping out of a helicopter to meet a crowd evolved around me and I captured them as best I could with my camera. I was open to events around me that seemed to plot a journey through creativity, gardening, people and much more.
Above is a picture of my planning table, taken this morning. I am making my final selection of photographs and words ready to print it and mount it all. I have not been able to rush this process but left my table sitting last night like a slow cooker meal. Today the clarity is on its way and I then need to head off to the printers in the next couple of days to bring it to the boil.
Blogs can be approached in the same way as I describe above, for they need not always be fast, quick draw and contemporary. They can have that dreamy, reflective – approach that show the passing of time has mellowed their words.
On the flip side of the coin is the need to meet deadlines, to forever dream and never put pen to paper, or photograph to print and frame is to be one who only speaks of creation without ever completing. Day dreaming for me however needs absolute calm, and quiet – and space. It’s like a caterpillar needing a cocoon to become what it is destined to.
Interestingly, yesterday when I was in the midst of playing with thoughts on my planning table, a kind soul came to let me know there were caterpillars outside that I might like to photograph. The sign of someone who knows the heart of me well and yet I haven’t known her long at all. Although I can’t contain my love of photography and it bubbles out to both old and new friends, so she had observed me on clean up day at the school when having a break from weeding chasing butterflies, well trying to be still and chase them with my camera eye and had logged it in her memory bank. She also knew I had a good camera. I hadn’t been out to explore the day so much as I was stuck at that planning table – I had forgotten to give myself true daydream space. The little ‘daydream’walk to video and photograph the caterpillars gave me some peace and calm and it was soon after this that I was able to pull my thoughts on the upcoming Smile Within Exhibition into a cohesive shape. It’s all about learning to trust the creative cocoon, but also trusting how to build it.
(c) June Perkins, words and images.