Right now my practice is on display within The BALTIC: Centre for Contemporary Art.
As I was out of the country when the group exhibition, Hinterlands, launched on Friday 22 October, 2022, I managed to get into seeing it after such event the following week.
I really didn’t know what to expect as you visualise the end result, the culmination of months of hard work, dreaming and winging it. But to actually see it all come together in a white cube space is another thing.
I visited my archive last week, with my daughter, excited and nervous and unsure. I got to see The Country Journal of a Blackwoman(Northumberland) exhibited on level 3 of The BALTIC. I was shocked and surprised to see my work out of context within this space. It was an emotional as well as nerve wracking experience.
Because of my absence, I had to leave instructions about the installation as well as extensive notes and labels for each art piece. There are about 50 items if not more within this creative archive. It’s to be expected that things got lost or mislaid in translation. So my focus for this trip was to make sure everything was how I wanted it to be.
After some discussion and sending of correct audio files, everything is now complete and as I want it to be presented to the world.
I’m not sure how I feel that during the launch of the whole exhibition, that things were wrong or missing. But I do know that after seeing everything in terms of my contribution and making things right after my visit, I felt great relief and was able to enjoy the achievement. It was also weird to be there at the same time as seeing peel interacting with my work. I’m not sure I want to have many experiences like that as their reactions did affect my state of mind, pride and achievement. And it would be very unsetting, I feel, to be there and witness someone laughing and disrespecting my work. I think this is something I need to gain a thicker skin for. But right now, my skin is thin for a number of reasons, tat I might explore here in time.
I know I have to return now, to take in the rest of the group show as well as the rest of The BALTIC’s exhibitions for this season, as this is a strong presentation.
I’m honoured to be showing at the same time with them.
Of course more reflection and images to come around this achievement.
22 October 2022 – 30 April 2023, BALTIC: Centre for Contemporary
Last week I attempted to walk the West Highland Way, again. And I failed again.
Around the mid point, well 52 miles in, I suffered an injury; a stress fracture in my right foot. It became too painful to continue. I was gutted.
After making the decision, I took my usual day to feel all the feels and then I got back up again. I switched this failure ( in terms of not completing the whole 96 miles) into a positive.
I walked along the byways and drovers roads and old railway tracks and had a great time being with nature. A week of forecast rain never materialised. The weather was bright and pleasant and welcome.
And the scenery was to die for. But I knew I couldn’t continue at the pace I was going. I had to weigh up the odds; continue to prove what? Or to stop and reduce further injury?
It also got to the point of no longer enjoying it. Because I was in pain and exhausted and feeling sorry for myself, I couldn’t enjoy the walking anymore. I couldn’t look up from the trail and breathe in the air and appreciate the view. My focus became the pain and how to get it to stop.
So I left the trail. Disappointed in myself but also proud of myself. I didn’t carry on seeking glory and jeopardising my body and the rest of my plans for the year and beyond. I took this hit of not reaching my goal in order to move through other goals easier or smoother.
I’ll not lie, I am upset about it. And had a funk about it. But at the same time, I appreciate the experience. I had such a lovely time waking up at the side of Loch Lomond with the last of the stars disappearing into a pinking sky over the glistening water. I felt blessed. And I still do feel this way to have had this opportunity of walking 52 miles from the lowlands to the Highlands of Scotland. Thank you.
I am learning to heal myself.
I am leaning to turn pain into medicine.
I may be at another crossroads. And I may to taking longer to get up
as I am getting older and in need of rest.
But I am learning to walk in uncharted territory.
I am learning to let responsibility go.
I am learning to let the guilt go.
I’m learning to not be afraid of death.
I’m learning to accept myself.
I’m learning to love myself.
I’m learning to not limit myself.
I’m learning to be free.
I’m learning to fly.
I’m learning to shine my light for myself first and foremost.
I’m learning to shed past selves, past skins, past traumas,
in order to let my light shine brighter.
This week has been a bit hit and miss around being here. I was tired after my return from Cornwall.
If you want to find out more about how that residency went please consider jumping over to my Patreon page and checking out my posts there. I shared my reflections daily while I was away. It was a good practice to keep up as I went through the experience.
Okay so today I’m going to spend time planning out the month so I can move forward with the Mixmoir. As I mentioned this week, I’m continue with this challenge of showing up daily for the Mixmoir but going to focus on the joy of nature connection.
I’ll pop back here later today with the updated plan. This is me making myself/ keeping myself accountable as God know’s I could let things slide just from tiredness. But I will rest this month but this is going to be radical joyful rest.
What this space!
I’ve been missing in action. I’ve been going through the motions of getting up each day and doing what needs to be done. But I’ve been tired. Put it down to the 9 hour drive home Saturday/ Sunday from Cornwall.
So maybe because of this lack of energy, then my skin is thinner. My patience is none existent. Or I’ve just plain sensitive.
But some ways people are behaving and treating me is unacceptable and maddening and upsetting. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not accepting this treatment lying down. I’m pushing back and letting them know what they’re doing or not doing and how this is coming across for me/ affecting me. But that doesn’t lessen the sting. Doesn’t lessen the questioning that seems almost like a ritual I do through afterwards.
Why are they doing that? Why did they say that or not? Why did they not acknowledging my contributions? Why did they not thank me? Are they treating everyone else like that? Did they just do it to me? Are they doing this because I’m Black?
Yes. You might say, it’s not all/always about race. And I agree with you. But if we live in a white supremacy culture where we are indoctrinated into believing, thinking and behaving as if white people are superior to Black people then it’s second nature to dismiss, ignore, overrule, disregard what the Black person is saying or doing in the room. We are not seen as of value, of worth or even present. We don’t register on your radar.
So I won’t ask for forgiveness or apologise for bringing it up because for me these are daily microaggressions which depending on my current state of mind body and soul, cut deep or can be rolled off my back like water.
But this week. Today. Now. No way. I’m not accepting them. I’m not going to remain silent about them. As I’m here and I matter and I deserve to be recognised. Not because I’ve done or said something amazing or impression. Because, I am a human being, and I have a right to be here.
Here ends today’s rant and getting things off my chest as basically I was getting tired carrying them all ant
“How can the antagonist’s flaw(s) / strength(s) best affect the story arc as a whole? (Draw a card for each.) ”
I pulled the Spirit Weaver card for the flaw aspect of this prompt. Wha does this mean in terms of the mixmoir?
This is indicating how what I’m trying to create, the story is affected by magic. Or more so the lack of magic as I’m not truly or fully drawing upon my magic and dreams in order to complete the project.
This card is showing its to me to communicate how I’m not utilising my full power in order to manifest this dream, this book because I’m looking at it the wrong way/ handling it the wrong way.
I’m floundering in low vibrational energies, negative thinking about this book, its content. The stuff I actually put in the book, what I’ve been writing about had been forcing on the negativity instead of focusing on the good.
Okay writing about racism and white supremacy culture isn’t good for the soul, my mental well-being for sure. And reading about it again and again isn’t good either. I know that higher vibrational energy would come through the joy of wanting to create/ write it.
The making out with my lover kind of feeling, which I have experienced with this project in the past has been missing of late. As well as within the content; the sharing the joy and pleasures of being in nature.
Maybe I could make a commitment for July when continuing with sharing about the mixmoir daily that I could focus on the good stories, the good experiences.
Maybe, I could be looking for the good news to share in the book. The good interchanges and interactions. No doubt this would help raise my vibrations and in turn flow into the book but also how I’m living my life in the present now.
Maybe I could every time I’m with nature , I could capture the experience, in words and image, and share them here and build my mixmoir around these moment. Being with her and cherishing her.
June is coming to an end. My challenge for this month, through posting each day, was to share content from my mixmoir as well as sharing about the process. I know I haven’t posted here everyday, or touched my mixmoir everyday either. But I know I’ve been much more engaged in the project this month than any other month this year because of this challenge.
To give myself a fair chance in getting to grips with the mixmoir, and because we are easing into Summer, with the school holidays imminent, I intend to continue to turn up for this practice in July.
I’m factoring in energy levels, commitments and time in the forthcoming month, and rather than change track now when I feel as I’m just getting into the swing of things, I’d like to go deeper into the mixmoir, especially around my current thinking about healing.
I’m satisfied with my decision. And this has only inspired me to continue. #onwards
The last week has been a bit of a patchy presence here. It’s been a bit hit and miss. And I could beat myself up and think I’m falling behind or I could just look at it as going at my own pace.
I’m of the mind that with this challenge, connecting and sharing about my mixmoir each day, isn’t the kind that lends itself well to playing catch up. I think these words and images of catch-up would be hollow and lack much development for the whole book. They would be just filling up space and hitting that target of posting on the blog each day. Which in the scheme of things doesn’t really help/move forward the mixmoir.
So consider this going forward: if I don’t post here each day in June, I’m not going to play catch up in order to have 30 complete posts for the month. However, if on one day I feel the urge to post more than once, then so be it ( like today maybe?)
I just appreciate the flexibility I’m creating here for myself as well as offering myself patience and grace. This is a learning practice but I’m grateful that it is part of my practice now.