I've been asked to take a photograph for a project in the New Year of my studio; the place where I make. The brief included a short statement about the image, my relationship with the space and how it informs my work in an attempt to give insight to my practice. If I'm honest I found this more interesting and probably more revealing than I had expected. I feel that I've been force to articulate some of the decisions I have made about the studio set up, decisions that I initially saw as intuitive and perhaps tacit. It has made me consider why I keep the space deliberately sparse and uncluttered; the relationship between the making, reflecting and researching; and role of curation.
So below is the statement, see what you think.
I’m a member of the Red Herring artist cooperative in Portslade near Brighton. The studios are in a small industrial unit on the first floor near to the Port and are shared amongst 25 artists. We inhabit the building with local businesses such as the Brighton Gin company, Small Batch coffee roasters and Brighton Catering Supplies. Red Herring has two large units, the first, Unit 5 has all the 2D work (painting, film making, photography, illustration) the second mostly 3D work (sculptor, installation, ceramics) in unit 6. My space, 6.1, is quite small just 18m squared but has an additional mezzanine section for storage, some 10m squared which overlooks the main space and has a strip of natural light all the way down one side. Having a connected space for the art work storage, my books and the computer means the main space is quite clutter free. It is significant to me to have some room to stand back and gain multiple perspectives on what is being made. This is important because I often make installations, combining objects, drawings, print and film. I can also sit in a comfy reclining chair above the studio and ponder from on high what has been made! I use the mezzanine as a space to research, read, reflect, and refine when I find the need to step away from the art work. However, I also work outside and in situ. Recently I’ve been using the act of walking as a stimulus for art making, so looking over sketches and poems made while walking on the South Downs has enabled me to make connections with physical, emotional and the cerebral self. I try to create a studio space that facilitates this kind of embodied process of knowing.