Well since I have been exploring those forgotten childhood terrors I have had a seriously terrifying supernatural dream.

Not a fear of tidal waves, ‘public’ toilet, large spider anxiety type of dream but a real chiller.

I guess a lot of those fears are dormant under the surface still. Those boxes really do have chinks.

Coming up to a deadline for a piece of work has its own anxieties. The procrastination caused by fear of it all going wrong – delaying that possibility of disaster against the need to take the plunge so if it does go wrong you have time to fix it.

And there have been problems – the polyester I was transferring images onto turned out to have diagonal lines running through the fabric which only become visible when a dark ink is applied.

heatpress action

Also the quality of the organza I bought was not great. Curse Fabric World.  I wasted an afternoon in vain searching for better quality white polyester glass organza. Trawling Berwick Street & surrounds I finally found a shop that had some stock only to discover it was £29 a metre.  This must be where Marilene Oliver got hers for her piece Dervishes. I did ask her such a banal question when she came and gave a talk at Ochre. I remember Cathy de Monchaux’s advice in a talk she gave at Goldsmiths – always use the best materials you can afford.  It was gorgeous – really like liquid glass. I know where to go when I am making something special. For ‘Syndrome’ I really doubt I will get any money back from this so must be circumspect. Oxford Street John Lewis fabric dept. no better than Kingston. Brick Lane my salvation. I am aware that I talk a lot about trying to save money. Obviously I want to produce high quality work but in reality I know I’m not going to make the money back on it so I have to have limits.

In the same vein – more time & money wasted – the paper roll ordered via eBay from the Swedish Army surplus was creped! and rather crumpled. Not to be defeated I spent about 3 hours ironing it – well it was for trees, a little texture would be good. All in vain though, the surface was just too rough to take the ink. So a whole day wasted as well as the expense of the paper and studio time. Off to Atlantis, via Hamar for Perspex and Brick Lane for organza, to buy a roll of Fabriano 120gsm paper only to find on arrival they were out of stock. Could’ve cried so tired, managed to track some down at Cass Art in Islington but so much walking with purchases bound to my wheelie hold all, heavy and unwieldy it didn’t quite make it home in one piece.

Having purchased the paper I finally got to print the trees for my haunted forest at Ochre Studio.  An exhausting day grappling with A0 screens, very gloopy sublimation inks and metres of paper.

Lightbox images transferred onto polyester and organza are put on stretchers.

Lining up the images on silky polyester and slippy organza tests my patience and concentration.

Getting it together at last. Busy sanding and staining stretchers, cutting holes in boxes for connector cables, fitting ledges fr the perspex to sit on, fitting the LED lights and testing connections.

Have had lots of low points through material frustrations but the most flattening was the much anticipated but ultimately disappointing Time Out review of Exhibit C.

I could just not mention this. Only 2 stars for the show. The main complaint does seem to be with the curation and selection but it still feels personal, comments about my own work were non committal/condescending.

So I checked out the credentials of reviewer Friere Barnes.  Turns out she really admires Esther Teichmann so we have that in common – she also shares a lot of connections with me on LinkedIn.

Cheering to find some visitors to the show have given it a 4/5 star rating online even if some are the artists themselves!

One good upshot of this was I watched Esther Teichmann’s film ‘In Search Of Lightning‘ which is really beautiful.

Shame Freire Barnes didn’t rate the show and it does feel a public shaming but have to think about the next piece because the next piece is always going to be the one.

Listened to Audrey Niffennegger one of the guests talking on radio 4 in relation to the Japanese artist Hokusai about the artist’s drive to produce that one piece that fulfills the urge to create.  That it is a lifetimes endeavour is summed up by Hokusai who felt nothing he did before the age of 70 had any merit and if he lived to 140 he might finally be able to create something truly divine.

The harshest critic must be oneself.