GUNBY BLOG Some progress .......

 
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I have finally started to turn some of my ideas for the exhibition at Gunby Hall into more tangible glimpses of actual pieces of work this week. The equivalent of ‘Writer’s Block’ has struck me down recently. Being able to think creatively takes a lot of energy and requires you to use parts of your brain that you can’t access when you’re tired and anxious. The ideas keep coming, but they get stuck in a loop somewhere and swirl around inside my head. They don’t seem to be able to make the next step into the real world and all the different possible ways of executing the tiny nuggets of ideas keep running through my head over and over again. I’ve been here before, many times. It is part of a ‘process’ - a process of creativity, but it is not pleasant and it actually hurts. A bit of self compassion is generally what is required at this point and a period of procrastination - a churning process - like an old washing machine, eventually spews forth something that makes it onto the page.

I always start my ideas on paper and often take photos as well by way of research. If an idea makes it this far, it generally turns into a piece of work. The problem that I’ve had/am having with the Gunby exhibition is that I’ve got too many ideas. The house and grounds are full of interesting objects, plants, landscape and history - too much to distill into a single body of work - so what do I concentrate on? I do generally have trouble trying to stick to one idea; as I start thinking about something I quickly come up with a mental image of all the other things that I could make as well, which soon become unmanageable, and then I forget where I started!

Well, I have got some ideas down at last, and I think I know where I’m going with at least some of them. Print and stitch are the main techniques that I’m using for this work. I was hoping to do a fair bit of experimenting, but a few things have happened over the past couple of month which have meant my time is very limited. I’m going to trust my instincts, though, and go with what I know and hope to experiment further over the rest of the year.

Trees are my first subject for my Gunby work - this is a subject that I already concentrate on, so I thought it would be interesting to represent a ‘real’ landscape as opposed to ones based on reality, but drawn from my imagination.

A crayon sketch of trees in the landscape of the Gunby Hall Estate

A crayon sketch of trees in the landscape of the Gunby Hall Estate

Pencil sketch of Gunby trees

Pencil sketch of Gunby trees

My next subject is botanical. Inspiration from the beautiful Gardens and also the House at Gunby which contains many botanical references in the form of beautiful printed wallpapers, brass door finger plates, beautiful book spines and art work. Focussing on the details in things that you might otherwise miss.

Fern sketches

Fern sketches

Fern Sketch (detail)

Fern Sketch (detail)

Lino block ready to print

Lino block ready to print

Pen and ink sketch of Shepherd’s Purse

Pen and ink sketch of Shepherd’s Purse

I now need to keep some sort of a momentum going and turn these first thoughts into the ‘real’ thing. More progress soon……

I don’t think I’m alone in having periods of creative block, is this something that has affected(s) you? I’d be interested to know how you deal with it.

For details of our exhibition ‘Collected, Captured, Cast’ and Gunby Hall, visit my Exhibition Page here.

 
Sue NichollsComment