Nearly Made for In the Making
Henk and I have been working on this project for over a year now …
It started with a conversation between ourselves and a visit to Ruskin Land, followed by some more conversations with Museums Sheffield, an application to Arts Council England and then the real hard work began with the felling of our chosen tree and the subsequent hours and hours of labour.
It's said that it takes approximatley 10,000 hours of labour to become skilled at what you do. "Throughout his publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to achieving world class expertise in any skill, is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way, for a total of around 10,000 hours.(Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell)
I worked out that I have spent about 750 hours on this piece. Those 750 hours included reading, meeting people who had something to show or tell but above all, hours and hours of being alone in my small studio with my paints and brushes and BBC radio 4 in the background keeping me company and engaged with the world around me. Radio has taught me that there are many others who, like me, spend long days alone developing their skills and knowledge and daring to go public with what they have made or learned.
750 hours means that I am still an amateur, a starter. During the time in my studio I have had some real ups and some real lows - I think/know that this is normal but nevertheless, when that momentary crisis hits you and you are not quite sure if it is real or imagined or how long it is going to last, it feels scary and at the same time a bit self absorbing. After all, I have chosen to do this. It's a privilege. And I have had much support from so many people and organisations.
I should feel ready to make it public but I know that I will be very scared to walk into the space on the opening Private View night when the piece will be revealed and will remain in situ for next 6 months.
Henk and I talked about our audience for this piece - we wanted to make something that would be fun and also serious. Something well made but perhaps not perfect. Something for the many rather than the few. In other words, we wanted to make it for the museum, not a gallery.
"In The Making" opens on 23rd January at Millennium Galleries Sheffield