The things I make begin as small hints of ideas,
meeting something inside me…
the smooth rattly stone of a dried apricot
invites me to paint it into being.
Sometimes I make because a child asks for something directly or through what they are doing. A letter to the dragon in the old tree seems to ask for belief in the mysterious unknown to be honored through a reply unformed enough to be permeable by imagination.
Things often live inside me for some time before they start to be made, some live there until they are forgotten or the need for them passes and they never become more materialized.
As I start to make things with my hands they become what they will, as soon as the physical forming begins it is not so much me holding the things in my mind and heart as them holding me in their atmosphere.In their creating my hands find things beyond my thoughts. A scrap of cloth on my floor, a button come across when searching for something else, a gust of wind caught by and catching turning gauze to hills, a shape made by a finger print.
Often the faces of little people become apparent on the cloth, wood or paper as I handle it, before I come to give them definition with paint or pencil. I tend to wait hopefully for this to happen, even to rely on its eventuality, for features, if directed by me end up being misfitting.
One day my young daughter said ‘mummy how do you make everything so perfect?’, I told her that the most beautiful bits are not usually of my doing, often they come about by following mistakes….for instance when the puff of a skirt comes unstitched that part becomes
a trail that wants the addition of embroidered flowers.
When tidying or creating a play space the feeling is similar, following what is there…picking up, putting together, placing, playing.
In this making I feel calm like I have all the time in the world, but also a kind of busyness from the insistent doing of haphazard but sense-making steps, giving myself over to a process of which I am neither the beginning nor the end.
When the child starts playing with and in what I have made there are sometimes moments of overlap in which they seem to sense what I have put in and I seem to sense their response that is the beginning of their recreation of things in play.