During stage one of my Master’s programme at GSA we were required to produce a breadth of research exploring contemporary and historical design and we were to identify a primary and secondary source of inspiration to explore. I intend to hone my focus in the next couple of weeks, but I am passionate in communicating a love for nostalgic colour combinations. The shape of Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures have been a primary and continuous source of inspiration throughout the first stage. Bold, colourful and graphic are intrinsic characteristics in the development of my project. I will be experimenting with dyes and playing with large shapes in the print room to move my work from paper to cloth in the next month.
Some people experience epiphanies during exhilarating, life changing events. Mine, was the moment a tube of rolled paper strapped to my rucksack like a hitch-hikers sleeping mat, became wedged between the two doors I was walking through in an attempt to leave work. Customers glared at me as I yanked at my rucksack and my colleague stood behind me confused by the situation. I was the only one laughing. These kinds of things are a regular occurrence for me, but this particular occasion felt like a metaphor.
Nothing especially bad happened in 2018 but for me the year felt like those seconds I was struggling to free my artwork from the doors I was stuck in between: embarrassed, defeated, helpless and a bit of a joke. It wasn't my work that was holding me back though last year, it was me. I adopted a defeatist mindset and a pessimistically stubborn attitude. I had become the grumpy, old cat my future destined me to be - resentful and jealous of others around me, failing to recognise I was the project of my own demise. I stopped believing in 2018. Or rather, I stopped believing in myself, my capabilities and my future.
I haven't paid particular attention to the 'New Year, New Me' mantra that swirls around during the January blues before. But at the turn of this year, I was teetering on the edge of my seat with flared nostrils and anxiety sweats, waiting for the bells to chime so I could passionately bellow, "BANISH 2018!".
The next time I catch myself slumping into '2018 Ish' I will quietly remember, that becoming wedged in a door at work is not vastly dissimilar to being stuck between a positive and negative mindset. It's important to work on your own progress, if it's freeing yourself from a door or something far more monumental. Focus on you, avoid comparing yourself to others but most importantly, laugh through the difficult times (even the embarrassment of customers glaring aghast).