First part of the wall drawing made this morning.

School has gone back only without me as I don’t have a school anymore. What to do? Having focussed on surviving the demise of GMS I now need to think again. I hadn’t really thought about what it would be like for everyone else to go back to school and not take me with them.

Yesterday I pottered about Norwich and didn’t get very far. Today I have been into the school in Lowestoft where I am going to be a volunteer artist in residence for half a term or so. I had sketched out a plan to make a large wall drawing/learning journal/art work/painting/sketchbook and when I last went there I had assumed that I would want to carry on making plates. This doesn’t seem such a good idea just at the moment. The plates were supposed to be commemorative and, of course, there is much less to commemorate now. It is all over.

The same themes of looking back and of recycling past art learning seems appropriate but now the work has to be about change and transition. Relocating myself and the work in a slightly new place. I realised the other day when I introduced myself at the MA shows that my usual ‘handle’ isn’t there anymore. A part of my identity for 16 years has gone with the school. I have others, of course. I could try on ‘artist’ for a bit, for instance.

I started mark making on cardboard on the wall this morning. I was thinking about Fabian Peake‘s work. I met him at the Cut on Saturday at the PV for his show there. I liked the work a lot. Especially the drawings in big plastic bags. Very imaginative and acceptably expressive, quite funny and witty. Quite boldly and straightforwardly worked. The constructions looked very different but the more I looked at them the more I could see the constructional aspects of the drawing and the more drawing I could see in the constructions.

As I have to ‘be an artist’ for a bit then I have to decide what sort of artist I want to be (again). What does my work look like if I’m not being a teacher at the same time? I’m not sure I can remember. This work is still in a school and there is still a public aspect to it. It is still a demonstration of something.

What I want to do is use the wall as a sketchbook/accumulator and work it over and over and see what happens. I need to bring some ideas into my head, I need some stimulus after the break and after using all of my head up on the plates; very focussed stuff. It is receding into the past though, which was the idea to make the plates so that they were connected to the school forever and not transferable in some ways. We’ll see. I could get fed up with painting and want to go back to ceramics in a bit.

What I want to do is some printing, mono-printing and some painting, probably all at the same time. I want the work to be blank and expressive at the same time and to be both abstract and depictive. At the moment I am referencing Lasker, Perry, Peake and Noskowski. We’ll see how it goes.