Monday, September 10, 2007

Taking Flight From Myself

I have been steeling myself for four days of travel later this week: first to Adelaide to visit some collectors, then to Melbourne to catch up with gallerists and more collectors. I am still going through a fallow (read 'blocked') creative period so instead of butting my head against a blank canvas for several more days, I'm taking care of the business side of my art, something I've neglected for the past couple of months. At worst, I get to have breakfast served to me as I linger in bed in a couple of cosy boutique hotel rooms, I can eat in a few good restaurants, and have lively conversations with people who, even if they have nothing else in common, are all interested in my art.
I have spent a lot of the latter half of this year travelling, mostly to Asia. Truth is, I've become a little weary of it, especially as I've discovered, somewhat to my chagrin, that I'm someone who needs a specific place in which to work. I need to feel settled, to have my favorite brushes, tools, paints, books, music, and fetishes around me. A year ago, I would have argued that I was otherwise – a nomad, whose art was enhanced by the experience of working (and living) 'on the hoof'. Yes, I am deeply infected by wanderlust, and innately curious, but I can't process the experiences I have, no matter how exotic, unless I have somewhere familiar, safe, and comfortable to come to rest and there, with little haste, think about all that I've absorbed.
I think it was in a William Gibson novel that I came across the appealing notion that jet-lag was just a matter of a person having to wait for his or her soul to catch up with them after a long flight. When I get back to Sydney after an extended trip to Asia, I always feel as if I have to wait for the various ghosts and demons who attached themselves to me there to leave and find their way back home. Only then can I begin to paint.

1 comment:

michelle said...

I did read that waiting for the soul to catch up was an aboriginal notion. I do love that thought - and it does seem to by true for the physical being - it takes a few days to feel collected again.

Enjoy your journeys!