I keep going round in circles which is a familiar pattern for me. It comes from the tensions I feel between using art to explore and experience the joys of colour and developing a more conceptually based practice that expresses my social and political concerns.
I’ve enjoyed bringing together my interests in colour and music and exploring how to express them using lights – but does this take me anywhere that’s appropriate or meaty enough for critical research on an MA? The sessions with Paul Goodwin set me thinking more about being a white woman living in situations where my identity isn’t usually challenged and reflecting on Britain’s colonial history and whiteness in contemporary society and art. There’s plenty of scope for research here, but how can I express it through my art practice? I’ve previously struggled to make political art because over several decades my brain’s been trained to explore the details of situations to find practical ways forward – but that’s not how art works. And anyway, is there a place for a white voice to express views about Britain’s colonial past, race and racism? It feels right to me that there should be – but where would it fit? It’s definitely not about telling other people’s stories or claiming to have found answers.
And so I move on round the circle. In my head I create wonderful installations of coloured lights and sculptures that immerse the viewer in an amazing three dimensional abstract “painting”. But where would I start to research that? Is it in the expanded field of painting, or the philosophy of colour? Can I update abstract expressionism or be a 21st century Colourist? Or would it help to focus on installations or light? And who are the artists whose work is anything like this?
As deadlines start to loom, how can I find a place to sit comfortably when the music stops?