Sandra O.

The Power of Limitations

Clearing out the studio!  Two years ago one of the units in the Visual Arts Textiles course I was doing was Planning Your Work Space.  We were required to do a review of our work space that included health and safety, lighting, storage, resources, access, ergonomics and impact on stakeholders.   We presented our review with photos to the class with recommendations as to how we would improve/change our work space.  We researched these issues including the work space of other textile artists, including the web, magazines and books.  I was surprised to find that a number of high profile and very successful artists worked out of a spare bedroom, down the hallway, with limited space.  And I found this inspirational.  If they can successfully create in limited space, surely I can.

So I reorganised and cleaned out.  I sorted fabrics into colour ranges and clear plastic containers from the discount store have enabled me to sort precious bits and pieces, i.e. give some meaning to my stuff.  I have a few projects on the go at one time and work best if I can lay my hands on things quickly and easily.  Also I use recycled, previously used fabrics and textile bits so zip lock plastic bags enable these to be stored and easily accessed.

However, I also like stopping in at the charity shops as I’m out and about and this can result in more things coming in.

So I’m challenged by Jane’s rule of something in, something out.  In working to find my voice or my style of work, and as I’m looking to develop to work in a series, I have resources in my cupboards that I’m not likely to use in the immediate future.

So this week, I’m doing another clean out.

Thanks also Jane for your description of the scavenger hunt and mining for meaning.  I find coming up with a design idea to be the hardest part.  One of the small groups I’m in, our graduation class, we have two exhibitions booked for the next two years.  Our themes are Portals, portraying the development of our textile art since graduation, and then the next one Inside Out, describing how we interpret the ideas in our head into art pieces.  I’m not sure how this approach will work for those two themes, but it’s given me a new way of thinking it through.