Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Space

The French novelist, Gustave Flaubert, once wrote, "Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work."
Now that my health is improving – I've been ill with a virus for nearly three weeks – I've decided to devote today and tomorrow to getting my shit together and start living and working like an adult.
It's taken me a while to realise that, despite my increasing financial success, I still live like a struggling artist (I'm frequently mistaken for a university or art school student). I wear one jacket that I swapped for an artwork 10 years ago, and even when I buy something new, I feel more at ease if it appears frayed or faded.
When I first moved into my current studio, I was so used to not owning anything that I furnished it with stacks of milk-crates as chairs (cushioned with painting drop-sheets) and makeshift tables instead of real furniture. I did buy a simple Balinese teak daybed, but I had become so used to moving constantly and sharing temporary spaces with other people that I've never set up a comfortable, functional space of my own. Such disarray is time-consuming – and no longer necessary.
I want my lifestyle to catch up with my earnings so, this Summer, I'm renting a beach house owned by a well-known film director about an hour's drive north of Sydney. It has plenty of natural light, a huge table that will be perfect for drawing, and a big garage area underneath with lots of airflow. I'll use the garage to paint a couple of large, enamel-on-board works. There's a piano in a corner of the living room – its keys are loose and out of tune – as well as wicker armchairs and a big TV. Outside, a wide timber verandah runs the length of the house. Situated in a valley shaded by tall palm trees, about a minute's walk from a secluded beach (where I'm planning to surf every day), it's a peaceful, not-too-out-of-the-way retreat.
I will still keep my studio, and I will make it feel a little more permanent and well-organised. I've already hung a few favourite pieces by other artists and displayed some ornaments, which are mostly fetish-like objects. I've unpacked books and crammed them onto shelves, though there are so many that I still have a few piles on the floor. I will create shelves and storage racks to replace the stacks of carboard boxes for my work materials.
I'm not planning to stay in this space forever, but from now on I want to live in a more affluent and productive present – a present that is really fucking awesome – instead of a past that was, to put it mildly, impoverished, fractured, and not much fun at all.


Fuck You Google said...

Being ill is no good.

It's awesome how you want things to change, though.

I admire that.

Art News Blog said...

Yeah, I had a similar issue with owning a new car. But now that I have one, I wish I would of brought one ages ago.

I think I thought that too much luxury would take the creative struggle from me, whatever that is.

Now I just have to get myself a beachside mansion and my transformation is complete :-)

matt f64 said...

well done I admire your honesty its refreshing. hope it all works out and keep posting how the works develop too. the beachside sounds great. enjoy !!