ArtsLab Shopfront's artists in residence

Wild ART

This week was my first proper Arts Lab freak-out.

But you know spending countless hours
in a room
with nought but yourself and your bizarre imagination

is bound to have that outcome at some point.

Up until this point I have been all like

‘Hey I have got all my anxieties targeted and maintained. I’m not going to freak. I’m am sufficiently calm, delighted and serious about this process’

And then BAM SCRAM

You are rendered immovable literally and metaphorically in the mind-body-soul. You are unable to get up and just play with the space/piece/time/body you have at hand. Your head is screaming at you ‘every nasty thing you have ever heard about yourself.’
AND your stomach which carries all your joy and the indescribable affection you have for creating has been sucked back against your spine and it is empty.
You know exactly what I mean right?

When your stomach tries to crawl out your back and all that is left is a tiny person screeching incoherently and waving their arms around in manic fear?

Well apparently this is a pretty common part of the process. Tiny person and all.
This is hard, this process, any process like it is meant to be hard.
I have had heaps of conversations with people who have smiled, hugged me and taught me this in their own way. Mine is not a new struggle nor is it a unique one.
So then the trick, as always, becomes
‘How do I acknowledge that this kind of freak-out is part of the process, a valid part of me and then at some point, post freak-out get the hell out of my own way? Get the hell out of my own way and be playful again remember that I love this. I love it’.

Imagine that!

If we could have the faith, the mercy and the integrity to be able to freak-out, feel dead inside, hate yourself totally 100% but at the same time understand that that’s okay because the next day you will probably discover just how much bloody fun it is to turn your skirt over your head 30 times and poor soil out of an urn while wearing ridiculous headgear made from foam.

And yeah I did do that but there is a part of me that still feels humiliated that I freaked out in the first place. Like somehow that freak-out was wrong, a mistake a sign that I am not doing the right thing I was humiliated to have experienced it.

And I’d like to get rid of that part of the process. The humiliation not necessarily the freak-out.
I yet again I find myself grateful to Shopfront and this program for giving me some space and a vast human support network to figure this out. To figure out how to let go of the embarrassment or at least use it in a positive way, to figure out how hard this process is, how much fun it is and learn that you know what I am going to be okay.
It strange to read over what I write and surprising to realise how much of me –you know an important part of my identity – is inherently seeping through into the performance… it is intensely personal. Even more surprising is that now post freak out I can say…

‘man that’s awesome coze I’m kinda awesome.’

But you know spending countless hours
in a room
with nought but yourself and your bizarre imagination

is bound to have that outcome at some point.

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