PhotoWalks, care of Vivienne McMasters, keep me sane. All I do is walk out there, with no aim in my feet, with my iPhone. And I pay attention. It takes me outside of me as well as inside of me. It sits me into my body. And I love them.
This morning took me towards the sea. My favourite walks are always by the sea.
As I travel to work, again I am paying attention to my surroundings. Now it is the sea as I take the ferry across the Tyne, from one shields to the next. The light always makes me relax into the moment. It is ever changing as time passes. But then when I look down upon the water, I see patterns, I see movement, I see beauty.
I’m collecting images each journey. I’m doing the work and not looking back at what I’ve created. I’m saving that until I have more time and space to reflect and move the project forward somehow. At the moment, I’ve just capturing what I see. And this makes me happy. This brings me joy and the flutter of excitement in my gut. And that’s enough for now.
This is my time of year. I’ve always loved Autumn since I was a child and taking as many different routes to school as possible to kick through the leaves.
There’s a crisp freshness to the air. Yes you can see your breath as you breathe out but you can also feel your fingers and toes getting cold. Your nose feeling the chill. There’s nothing like this time of year to bring you into the present moment.
October is my birthday month. The Black Moon in Libra was at the end of September marking the mid-point in the annual horoscope cycle. Libra, my sign, the sign of beauty and balance, is totally me as I seek both within my life with a passion.
This is a time when I will spend weighing up what has happened, what I have done so far along my path of enlightenment and authenticity. I intend to savour these moments of chill and beauty. Not rush off and make new plans for the future ( although I did make a couple yesterday. More to follow here!!). I try to refrain from doing and instead being.
This is a starting point, yes, but to pause, reflect, rebalance.
To say that the aim of this residency is to not engage in any artistic activities from September to December inclusive, I would have to confess that things are not going to plan.
I’m finding that making something, doing something creative; be it cooking a meal, baking, knitting, reading about art, playing with paints, these little moments of colour in my day are my highlights. These moments of play energise me, bring me back to me and how I want to spend my time.
I suppose I’m not learning anything new from undertaking this residency. I always knew that creativity was my life force. I suppose it is only reinforcing my self-knowledge.
I know I devised this residency to ease the pressure off myself, while having to work full-time. But I’m finding that these moments of creativity are what gives me the strength and energy to carry on with the full-time work. Without these pockets of colour and joy my life would be grey and nothing. I would be so unhappy and lost that I would worry how to carry on.
I know frustrations are creeping in as I wish I had more than just pockets of time to devote to my creativity and future projects. But I’m allowing myself the space to rest and dream. Not pushing myself but also not denying myself the time to plan and imagine.
Still walking to work, I am drawn to these buildings. Apparently these were termed ‘super flats’. Part of the St. Mark’s Redevelopment program, these flats were built in the 1950s to replace the old terrace houses within the Laygate area of South Shields.These flat, centrally heated, were three stories high. These flats of the future split up communities that had lived together for generations. Close families and friends were distributed between different new developments of the area.
Further research is needed, but while passing by this week, it looked like at either side of this glass passageway doors had been opened. Doors I hadn’t noticed before.
I’ve also going in for a closer look by exploring the doorways, steps and the concrete underpass/bridge under this glass passageway. This building holds my attention and curiosity and make a monotonous walk more enjoyable. The work will continue.
On the way to work each day, I pass this concrete construction. I try to just walk on by and not look, not take any images. But at certain times of the day, when the sun is just so, it illuminates this rundown place. It becomes golden. I try and capture this transformation. And even though I’m an artists on hiatus for the next few months, I can’t help but itch this creative spot, can’t help but point the iPhone and shoot.
I’m interested in how this develops over the next few months as I continue to walk by. I’m interested enough to start looking into these buildings further. There are people living here in the flats either side of this glass enclosure. But this linking section seems rundown, vandalised and why is it there if not to allow a thoroughfare? Decoration, a special design feature?
This is a little golden nugget which will keep me going during the long, tiring days of work. A little creative well upon which I can draw inspiration and energy from. Please keep checking back and see the process.
I love starting new projects. Even more so when I say to myself that I’m on hiatus from any kind of creativity. But sometimes that itch comes along that you just have to scratch.
While working full-time, on my way I pass, in my opinion, some iconic buildings; a housing estate that speaks to my soul. I have taken to photographing these blocks of flats, more so, a single glass passageway which links one block of flats to another. This glass corridor seems to be neglected, blocked off from the flats either side. Windows have been broken, chip boards are up at others. But it definitely appears to not be in use.
Until this week, when I noticed doors either side open. Had they always been open? Did I fail to notice this?
Bear with me as I attempt to find out more about these buildings, this area through further research and reading. As I said I do enjoy starting new projects. This one, I have no way of knowing where it will lead. I just know that I am enjoying the process and progress.
‘Super Flats’ continued