The space that grief left…


Recently I’ve been feeling, now the grief has gone, there is a void, some kind of space left. I originally called this post the ‘hole’ that grief left, but a hole implies something empty, something that something will fall into and with no escape, where as a ‘space’ is more fluid and open, something where things can move in and out as they like, and that’s what it feels like. Not quite sure what it is, but it feels good. I recently wrote that I wouldn’t be writing about grief anymore, but I’ve still have so much to say, whether its grief or after grief it’s still there and writing about it helps me understand it, so I’ll continue.

Feeling this space reminds me of what was there before; pain, hurt, hopelessness, misery, mistrust, loneliness. Thankfully I don’t feel any of these now, and hope never to again. I suppose nothing will ever really feel as bad, it’s a good feeling to think that’s all in the past. So what is it that needs to fill this space? I’m not sure, someone or something fun I hope.

The one good thing that came out of grief for me was it changed my work, the way I looked at things altered. Dark times are far most creative periods for artists, perhaps feeling raw emotions is what inspires us. Some great art comes from dark places, look at Bowie’s new album, he created a masterpiece whilst starring death right in the face, what an amazing piece of work to have done at that time. What a way to announce to the world you are dying and then die right after release, what a release in all senses of the word! I’m in awe of his handling of his own death.

Death is seen as a dark violent thing that happens in private, but it doesn’t have to be, you can have beauty in it. That is what I tried in my Tulip project, it wasn’t about death, it was about love. I never showed her dying, why would I. I told the story of her last weeks, in that there was real beauty. Beauty doesn’t have to be happy, dark sad beauty is the most intriguing to me. I saw The Revenant film last night, what a beautiful film, a really beautiful piece of story telling. It felt like there was a real trust in what and how they were telling it. Beauty is not pretty and clean, it’s hard and painful. I hope this space that has emerged in me hasn’t taken away that type of feeling for me, I need to keep that. Life would be so boring if anything was bright and cheery, I like a certain darkness, without this life would be dull and boring, and who wants that.

It’s interesting looking through my Tulip project now, after 5 years, seeing things in it I didn’t before. I understand why my mum didn’t want to see it until she ‘was all better’. Who would want to see their progression into death, especially when you are finding it hard to come to terms with it yourself. We don’t do death well in our society, so I totally understand why she didn’t want to see it. But I think she might have been pleasantly surprised how I found the beauty in her story. I know she would want to see it now, and as I get ready to send it off out into the public world I think in someway she will be able to now. As these next few weeks unfold, getting closer and closer to finally releasing my project to the ‘world’ I feel my control relinquish, I’m letting go, it has it’s own life now and perhaps I do too…

Tulip on press!

So last week we printed my Tulip book! I was in Verona with the publisher Dewi Lewis to approve and oversea the printing, well the published did that really, I just stood there and was in complete awe of the whole process. I felt so humble by the whole experience, but also had so much pride for my work that was spinning around all the machines and popping out the end. An amazing experience.

Here with a few pics of the process. Book will be out very soon, will let you know exact date soon!



My Tulip book is on press!

It’s finally happening, my Tulip book is being printed! It started today, myself and the publisher are in Verona to proof the printing for the next two days. We have just proofed the first sheet out the press, amazing watching a press in action, especially with my work whirling around inside it. I love print rooms, such exhilarating places, and so exciting to see my work flying out at the end.

Here are a few quick pics of the first sheet being proofed. Many more to follow.