Home Is Where the Art Is


Time has temporarily come to a standstill. The heavy, consistent and reliable beat of activity, functioning, and output which I have been keeping for the past few weeks has ceased to be so persistant; yet I know it to be only a brief lull. I have returned home to the house in which I spent my childhood, teenage years, and adult life up until now, after living away and working for a short while. While gone, I couldn’t have even considered returning to the stifling atmosphere of being back here, so freeing and liberating was the work, not to mention creatively stimulating and socially consistent, the last thing I wanted was to be forced to spend any amount of time here among my old clothes, things and rooms which I know inside out and back to front – where is the imagination here? Where is the newness? Where is the potential for progression and growth?

I have been so preoccupied with moving forward, with moving on and nourishing change and growth that I have almost lost the importance of that which is at the core of it. Instead of rejoicing at the prospect of relaxing and being at ease with things being exactly as and where I left them, both in my room and in my parents’ lives, I had become anxious with anticpation of how stagnant it all can feel, and wary that I would be ‘sucked into’ it again.

That is how it has felt before, in times when I have been progressing and growing steadily by myself in situations outside of my home life – it has seemed almost counterproductive to return to this state of apparent sameness, the begrudgingly slow process of progression being stifled just yards after it has finally made some noticeable headway, and anxiety at it’s proximity overwhelming any sense of productivity.

This time however, the lull has been noted, and my awareness of the temporality of all things has been strengthened. The beating of the creative drum had a good run this time – things were written, recorded, conducted in ways and on levels of success I never believed myself capable of. But just as seemingly endless and frustratingly peaceful as this visit home has been, the persistance of such a contrasting level of frenzied output can only be maintained for a certain amount of time, and will only be possible once again if I take this time now to recooperate, recharge the mental and physical batteries with good nutrition, a decent amount of sleep, and a couple of hundred words written to aim to keep the nudging elbows of anxiety at my lack of creative output bubbling under the surface away.

Because I have realised now that creativity has to come from somewhere. It may not be a gift or a trait that can be readily bestowed upon someone, or found in any single library, concert venue, practice room, or gallery; but through correct environmental factors and an unknown period of time, I believe it can be coaxed into existance in certain individuals, even in the most unlikely of circumstances. My home and life experiences up until now have clearly provided the seeds and tools necessary to glean new understandings and to present unique manifestations, angles, and viewpoints of our environment and lives, something which can be achieved by something so small as this paragraph of words on your screen. This, really, when it all comes down to it, is the essence of creativity as a concept in itself. I have used the environment and experiences I have been afforded to the best of my advantage, and for now, for this present moment in time, this is the best I can present you with – a few hundred words typed hastily in the middle of a bedroom strewn with half-unpacked washing. In my work up until recently, I utilised the bustling, chaotic atmosphere around me to coax new ideas from my core and take bold risks that may or may not have resulted in disaster – the nature of such an environment, however, allowed for these risks, as even if they had failed, the movement forwards is swift, and does not take long for the failures to be learned from and forgotten. For now, for the time being, this is what I have to show – a short piece of chaotic, excitable and progressive thought captured within a room full of old teddies, in a house that has been the same colour since I was first brought into it 23 years ago.

How To…. Put fresh duvet covers on your bed.

How To….     Put fresh duvet covers on your bed.

  1.  Clear the room of every item with the potential to obstruct the length and breath of a wild duvet.
  2. Arm yourself with the essentials – a whistle, should you get lost in the unforgiving folds of the outer sheet and subsequently need to call for help; a map, in the case of disorientation on emergence from said sheet; a snack, just in case the search for the corners gets a bit much and a tent must be pitched halfway; and in the case of asthmatics, an inhaler, for obvious reasons.
  3. Prepare yourself by sizing up both the duvet itself and it’s soon-to-be skin, ensuring firstly that you have obtained the correct fit – nothing is worse than realizing halfway through the process that you have in fact been attempting to fit a large manta ray into a space where only a baby manta ray is intended to go.
  4. Similar to beginning a jigsaw puzzle, the corners are key to the successful re-fitting of duvet covers. With this in mind, grab a firm hold of the two top corners of the blanket, and dive head first into the sea of cotton.
  5. After blinding fumbling through the top half of the flimsy material, begin your search for the edges like a true Christopher Columbus – this by default should lead to the fabled corners.
  6. When right-angles have been established, sync corner with corner, and if possible, drape the remainder of the cover down the sides of the blanket, thinking with glee that maybe actually this time you did good.
  7. Emerge from a warm ball of knotted fabric, and express your frustration by hitting it, an action which will thoroughly help the situation and ultimately cause the offending bedding to leap ceremoniously into position within it’s covers and ensure you a comfortable and lovely night’s sleep.