Thursday, 12 December 2013

a hard act to follow

I was prompted to post this because of Sarah Toa's latest offeringIn fact I could have written it, from a slightly different perspective of course - but I have the same shit going on in my head: 'Maybe this is it. Maybe I have pulled off one good....(book) body of work....and this is it'. I think I know just how Sarah is feeling.

It's been a dizzying few weeks: the exhibition opening at JCG 3 weeks ago and all the wonderful feedback; back up to Perth last weekend for my artist's talk. It's been difficult to debrief. Now I need to wrap everything up - retrieve the work from the gallery, finish off the year. I am in a strange nothing sort of space, which, after 7 years of intense study and hard work, is inevitable. I like my down time - I am looking forward to having a break and going surfing a lot. I am also getting mixed up in some new projects for next year and interested in returning to a more public life after hiding out for such a long time. Everything is feeling rather strange. 

Last Sunday after the talk I took one last, long look at the exhibition and said out loud: 'I'll never top this'. I think the gallery director may have heard me.

People around me are asking: What's next? And I just give them a blank confused look. I have some ideas, but will need some space to let things settle.

To top it all off I still haven't heard from the examiners, so this 'success' could be an illusion.

I have to remind myself that the journey doesn't end here. It will be a little different but life goes on. I am in the business of evolving and I need to find my centre again. I will start feeling more like myself when I get back to my own art practice and further (private) study. And that is where I will start the climb up the next mountain.

image: Voidone of the works in the exhibition. Digital animation over photograph of The Gap at dusk.


  1. Yep. We just keep inviting those mountains to rise up in front of us until one day....we no longer have the energy to summon them.

  2. Nice comment Robin. But it is good to have a little lie down in a shady valley in between the mountains, yes?
    I'd say time for a snooze but for the deadline. Bah.
    You can probably rest on your laurels for a little while Michelle. Constantly producing amazing works like yours must be an unsustainable practice in the long term, methinks. We all need that valley to snooze in between climbs. X