Christine Partridge Artist

Small is Beautiful

I attended the Small is Beautiful conference (having been awarded a breakthrough fellowship) last Wednesday.  I came away stimulated with fresh thinking on how to live as an artist and navigate through and around the edges of current economic models of ‘making a living’.   There where multiple threads I could follow but what has stuck is:

  • Alexa Clay’s metaphor of the ‘misfit economy’ and how it is important to connect with people and communities that evoke discomfort in us, they have something to teach.
  • The dance of big and small (John Thackara).  I want to stay with the small, I do not want to create a business but rather be able to earn enough to continue doing what  I love – which is creating and researching through art.  There is also something here for me of seeing the extra-ordinary in the mundane and keeping things at a human scale.
  • Patricia Van Der Akker’s question – ‘What is your definition of success’ struck a cord.  For me it is having a quality of life rather than a quantity of money and yet they are not separate.  It is about being known and yet not being on stage as a ‘star’.  It is about being in conversation through my art with others.
  • The final talk by Carl Honore was another reminder of the importance of listening to/working with the natural cycles of a life/of a year/of a day.  To tune into and work with being still and activity; incubation and creation.  The importance of honouring the natural rhythm of each moment, doing things at the right speed for that task and working less to work better.   I have known this for awhile but is was good to re-reminded as it is so easy to get caught up in rush of doing and the demands of an ever growing ‘to do’ list.
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Back in the Studio

Having finished my degree, got my results and celebrated the 1st, I was ready to start working on my next project.  This is proving harder than I thought, my hands and thoughts are slower, heavier – as if my creative muscles are stiff and need warming up!

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‘Up close’ – it is good to be drawing again

 

 

 

 

 

A study for ‘Fragmenting’ – based on the scans of my left eye.  I am not sure where this is going but it is good to have started on something!

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What next?

With a 1st class degree in Painting under my belt and after a 3 month I  break from producing, I am starting to think – what next?  After so long being so focused  it isn’t proving easy to start afresh.

One of thread that snagged my attention when I was working with the beech trees was the idea of woundedness – the beauty and damage and portent of time passing.  I found a ‘new’ tree with a massive wound that is both full of beauty and horror.  This interest in has been reinforced by a recent unexplained inflammation to the back of my left eye.

The experience was frightening and yet the scans taken of the damage are beautiful.  Ideas for turning this experience into art have been bubbling away plus a desire to do some work with the ‘new’ tree but I have yet to get into the studio to start manifesting them – I am torn between being patient (I will start when I am ready) and pushing myself to get into the studio and start.  We shall see what happens over the next couple of weeks!

 

Endings …….

Yesterday I took my work down to the OCA office in Barnsley for assessment.  Two years of work in the back of my car.  After 12 years with OCA, slowly working my way courses I have finished my degree and am left with a mix of feelings – sadness, a sense of achievement and a recognition of a need to let go.   I am looking forwards to a couple of months of rest as autumn moves to winter and a curiosity to see what is waiting to emerge as I continue forwards as an artist.

Letting Go

The is such delight

In the stillness of winter.

A time to be honoured,

A time of renewal.

Do we let ourselves dance

To the rhythm of our being.

To touch and know

That this is enough,

This is what I choose.

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Presence Embodied

Involved in an excellent conversation about Presence with six people at my exhibition in Glasgow.  Pleased with how the space and artworks has come together and very grateful to Kinharvie Institute in Glasgow for hosting this exhibition which is on till Sat 29th August at 49 Dowanhill Street.

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Exhibition photos – A Quiet Obsession

On Sat we had a ‘meet the artist’ event with tea and homemade cake.  It was lovely to have the time to talk with people about the work and to see it again.    Below are some photos of the exhibition – they don’t do the exhibition justice – it has proved hard to get photos that capture the experience you have of being in the space and walking through the three different spaces.

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As you enter the venue

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Middle space of exhibition

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Middle space of exhibition

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Middle space

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_1110917 End space

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Impact of light on one of my paintings

The Art of Embodied Thinking

Three copies of my Artist book – now finished.  It has been a time consuming process but I am pleased with the result and will be showing the book at my exhibition in Glasgow.

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Photographing the exhibition

Knowing I would be busy with setting up and talking with people at the opening of my exhibition I asked my nephew to be my exhibition photographer.   I am looking forwards to seeing the images and time lapse film he took of the opening.

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Setting up A Quiet Obsession

Setting up the exhibition was tiring and at times stressful.  Lots of attention to detail, accurate measuring, decision making and discussions.  The end result though was good, Anne and my work sat well together and I was pleased with how we had curated it – the way the screens had been placed in the space allowed people to walk around and into spaces and see the work from different and changing perspectives.  I was especially pleased how the light from the large windows highlighted the textures and the  matt wax of the tree portraits against the black background.  It really enhanced the sense of almost moonlight ghostliness of the trees.

Measuring up

Measuring up

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Marking where the bottom fitting goes

Double checking the placement of the firing

Double checking the placement of the firing

Last picture up on the wall

Last picture up on the wall

Dusting the sculpture

Dusting the sculpture

When is an Artist Statement finished?

I thought my statement was finished, but today I found myself changing a word here, removing a word there, wondering about the length of a sentence.  This process of endless tweaking and questioning has been going on for awhile, each time I think it is done but then I look again …….  I am in danger of overworking it like a painting and removing all life from what I originally wrote.  Time to print it out ready to take to the venue on Wednesday with my wrapped up artwork!

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