Making Spaces

20 August 2018 : Related Tags

I’ve been reflecting on the time that I’ve had with Expecting Something over the past year and a half,   since I returned to the project after having my own baby. I recently left the project to have another baby and I’ve handed the project over to the amazing Kim Donohoe.

I have been thinking about making space. Making space to be together. Making space for things to happen. Making space for what’s important. Making space for the next thing.

Since becoming a mother, my life has never been more full of activity. Sometimes thrilling, sometimes tedious, but non stop from 6am when I hear “mummy?” through the baby monitor, until 9pm when I sweep the kitchen floor disaster zone for the final time that day and collapse in my bed. I found it hard to really spend time just playing with my wee one, just ‘being’- there’s always a million things to multi-task. And finding the time to be creative and make good artwork – reflective and truthful quality work requiring deep thought and carefree playfulness. Ha!

Yet somehow each week I have managed to make the space for the Expecting Something Group in Lochgelly. I have found myself really caring about this amazing group of women and children, who in return have found the space in their own hectic lives to care about the project and come every Wednesday. Expecting Something is the space we have made together, which values playing together, bonding and being creative.

The importance of that space for the Expecting Something participants can be summed up by these quotes:

“This group is special”

“This is our main group we go to every week and we’re really sad if we ever have to miss it.”

“I feel comfortable here and confident here.”

What is the worth of that space for me as an artist? It’s about the safe place to play, experiment, take risks and grow. Creating the space to be challenged and surprised.  It has nestled my artistic practice right where my heart has been: in the relationship I’ve been building with my own son. That creative energy has leaked all over my home life; blue paint spilt in the boot of my car, sequins under the sofa, games, songs, dens, drumming and dancing round the living room.

I feel very lucky to have been on this journey. Over the past year we’ve created a beautiful book Ellie’s Egg which the participants and I am equally proud to have been a part of. And we have developed a really beautiful performance idea together called Bundle. I’m so grateful to have found that nourishing, creative space amid the nappies, the nose wiping and the Duplo obstacle course that have become my life.

Goodbye, it’s time for me to make the space for another artist to join this project. And thank you to all the artists who have worked with me, to all the team at Starcatchers who have supported me and especially to all the participants who have invested so much in the project and gone with all my crazy ideas!