As an artist I have felt my world spin off its axis in the last few weeks. The desire, the need, to become ‘grounded’ again has for me been very strong and I realised that I had to find creative ways to reach out to the people I ordinarily would work with in the studio. All the artists have felt this, a desire to speak, somehow, to the people we would ordinarily see each Friday.
My biggest challenge has been to shift my mindset. In the studio everything we did was about being physically close to those we work with, to notice and respond to the smallest gesture, look, touch. Turning to technology has (despite my initial reservations) actually opened doors to creative collaboration that we didn’t think were possible before, it is likely we would not have ever explored some of the technology we are looking at now. It has been fantastic for some individuals.
For others this technology would be a distraction, anxiety raising, simply inaccessible and entirely inappropriate. Each member of the artist team has thought in great depth both together and alone on what is possible, or perhaps more importantly, how to make ideas possible.
Every person who comes to the Friday studios has such different needs to each other that we have taken a multi-layered, individual, continually evolving approach to each participant and how we reach out to them. Nothing is perfect, but just as Project Artworks is about ‘the process’ this too is a different kind of process, a way of thinking that changes the way we work.
For Aida, a painter from our Friday group, I chose to make a short film. Aida works with quick brushstrokes in the studio to completely cover canvases, paper, objects from front to back. She is a meticulous maker. She enjoys exploring colour and texture, Aida enjoys the outdoors. I chose to film sensory images I though she might enjoy from my Lockdown garden and cut these together with some painting, in the hope to remind Aida of the studio. A visual letter, to let her know we are thinking of her, I think in hindsight that I had underestimated how important the process of making it was for my own creative sanity too.
This is just the start of a new Friday way of working. The physical studio may be gone for now, but we are still very much here, evolved, evolving – like a spinning top that won’t waver and topple we have found a new energy from within and who knows where we go from here.
It’s a great privilege and pleasure to be a part of it.
Georgie Scott, Studio Artist, Project Art Works