Apologies to my sadly neglected blog but this year has been a heck of a ride.
In looking back over all the things I've done and struggled with this year, I suddenly had a (mildly incensed) urge to write it all down and make sense of it before another year rolls around.
Let me paint a picture of the hectic year just gone.
|privately commissioned Noren featuring Australian magpies|
|Tameshi jewellery - tameshi means sample or test. Available through stockists in Canberra and on my etsy store https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/someru|
|My series of 6 yuzen/katazome dyed works on display as part of "Wafting II" at Medialia Gallery in New York, June-July 2017|
|The delights of early spring at Tidbinbilla - Gibraltar Peak, Early Nancy, Flame Robin.|
|entryway and Japanese garden at Galerie H20 in downtown Kyoto|
|view of solo show at Galerie h20, October 2017|
|the wonderful people who agreed to be interviewed for my Somé 20:20 project.|
|Solo Exhibition "Naturescapes" at ANCA Gallery & Studios, Canberra, Oct-Nov 2017|
|detail of "The Beautiful Weeds of Canberra" series, on show at ANCA Gallery, Canberra|
|Kata-yuzen workshops and Hikizome demonstration at the Canberra Nara Candle Festival, October 28, 2017|
|wonderful postcards dyed by participants, drying on the outside windows at ANCA|
|Kyoto Journal, a volunteer-run publication, making a return to print from this issue. |
It's great! you can get your hands on a copy here
What this run-sheet doesn't show is the sleep-deprivation, self-doubt, expenses, rejection letters, missed deadlines, extensive preparations, hours spent at a day-job and the constant juggle.
On paper, (or in digital text, I suppose) this looks like a hugely successful year. In a sense it was.
But it was also really, really hard.
I don't think this level of productivity is sustainable, or even very enjoyable.
I also didn't really sell much art. Not through exhibitions.
Where I really made progress and, to some extent, a profit, was through connecting with like-minded people, through making custom pieces, through sharing affordable things, and through trying to promote the unique genre of Somé.
Which has me re-thinking my approach to all of this.
Given that my work places me in a sort of odd position in between ART, CRAFT & RESEARCH, (odd in the sense that I don't fall neatly into funding categories or job titles) I'm thinking that instead of struggling against that and trying to slot myself into prescribed categories, why not embrace it?
Can I be a CRAFTISAN?
Can I be a RESEARCHIST?
Can I be a CRAFTIST?
I'm tired of feeling like my specialties (being able to dye pictorial textiles, being interested in craft, being knowledgeable about tradition, having Japanese abilities -though not bilingual by any means, being interested in smaller, affordable art) are a liability, or something I need to adjust so I can be in the same game as everyone else. And of feeling like my particular set of skills don't add up to anything. When in fact they do! and they are a killer combination despite what the grants categories, arts bodies, or professional membership organisations would have me think.
So consider this my personal passion project for 2018; finding a way to be my own kind of craftisan, pursuing research and researching through making.
Thank you for putting up with the silence on this blog but do feel free to check in over at my website and project site to see what things I get up to in 2018.