ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

The Wall and The Worm of Dread

I’m a wall of frustration right now. Ideas seem to turn to hazy goop whenever I think about using them in an actual show. Kind of ‘Oh what a world, what a world’-style.

I sent a friend the poem from the hobbit ‘Over the misty mountains cold’ to make them feel better about an adventure they were unsure about (‘Far over the Misty Mountains cold, To dungeons deep and caverns old, We must away, ere break of day, To seek our pale enchanted gold…’) Re-reading it to comfort my own reluctant traveller I discovered a passage about the ‘worm of dread’ being conquered. I can imagine this worm meandering my veins the past few weeks. Maybe made from the hazy goop of my dissolved ideas. My head connects this pleasantly with The Mighty Boosh’s song ‘Eels’ (‘Eels up inside ya, findin an entrance where they can.’ youtube ‘mighty boosh eels’, it’s fantastic.)

My thought process making this link was something like ‘yes! Eels! Exactly! Doubts! fears! Dreads! Pollution! in Riversystems! Gah! What a world what a world…’ And I was imagining eels writhing through holes in the walls (aren’t imaginations brilliant like that?) But having written this I’m starting to think there’s a connection between imagining myself being invaded by worms and eels (weels?) and the need to become a wall. I feel like maybe I’ve been shutting down entirely in order to prevent these eerms from coming through me. Which is funny really, because in my work I keep exploring the need to accept all of life, even the awful and ridiculous, and the sadness of rejecting it.

I have a picture on my phone (they can do that now, you know. Kind of amazing) of the brick-paved floor of the driveway here at shopfront. A few drops of rain are sparkling just beneath a decorative clump of  gumleaves. It looks a little – to me a lot – like the bricks have become space and someone is running through the stars. Or like there are two co-existing realities; in one there is a floor, gravity, bricks – in another there is free-falling space. Fantastic; also kind of frightening.

I’m enjoying that image as I remind myself that I may be a wall of frustration, but I’m also in an amazing space, with amazing people, creatively expanding every day I spend messing around here – whether I believe it at the moment or not – and as I write two fellow arts-labbers are having an impromptu sing-along with piano accompaniment, (they’re singing ‘the Caretaker’ by Pinter). No no! I am a wall! A WALL I TELL YOU! There is no magic here!

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