A small creative stretch

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I’ve been in a creative slump lately because I’ve been unwell. I just haven’t had the energy to do much of anything, let alone making art – although of course, I’m still doing my daily envelopes for The Diary Project. But overall, I’ve just been feeling totally blah about my work – it happens and I know it’ll pass but it’s still not a fun place to be in.

One of the few things that has been creatively exciting me lately is Camilla Engman’s Organized Collection group on Flickr.

So my art practice for the last few weeks has mostly involved collecting little object on the days when I’ve been able to get out and about and just taking simple photos of them on walls or paving stones. It’s small and it’s simple but at least it makes me feel as if I’m still doing something.

Kirsty Hall, photograph of red rubber bands
Kirsty Hall, found rubber bands, October 2007

Kirsty Hall, photograph of red rubber bands
Kirsty Hall, found rubber bands, October 2007

One of the things I noticed when I first started joining Flickr groups was how it made me see the world in different ways and how I stretched my photography a little bit because of it. I’d take different photos than usual because I’d think “hey, that would be a good shot for such-and-such a group”. If you’re feeling the need for a bit of a creative stretch, particularly in relation to your photography, then I’d recommend it.

And having said all that, I’m now going to take myself and my camera outside to the garden to see what I can find, before I need to go for yet another rest.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

20 thoughts on “A small creative stretch

  1. I saw your rubber bands on the Flickr group feed – they look even better in the large. I really like the contrast with the surfaces beneath. I hope the slump passes soon.

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  2. Like your red rubberband doodles, and what a good idea to do these photo-groups, it’s low-key work, but in its own way substantial and inspiring. Might try it myself sometime.
    Thanks for introducing the work by Tara … (sorry, name escaping me already, ME-scatterbrain), it’s gorgeous and sensuous, so simple and minimal and yet quite amazing.
    Hope you’ll feel better soon.

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  3. Like your red rubberband doodles, and what a good idea to do these photo-groups, it’s low-key work, but in its own way substantial and inspiring. Might try it myself sometime.
    Thanks for introducing the work by Tara … (sorry, name escaping me already, ME-scatterbrain), it’s gorgeous and sensuous, so simple and minimal and yet quite amazing.
    Hope you’ll feel better soon.

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  4. made time for a wee catch up, both here and at fragile tender. too tired to write my multiples responses in all the comments but let’s just say i was smiling, laughing, interested, enlightened and inspired in equal measure (and that’s without even checking on the diary project). That Hello Kitty thing had me in fits, and your own new kitty had me making ooh ooh noises, esp the raised paw like avoiding a paparazzi shot. Your art writings seem so fitting as i delve into my art from my 1st major CFS period at college (I’m remind myself that my art saved me). Tired, want to ramble on but must stop. Can you pass on a ‘hi’ to Milla, I’ve not been to her blog for a while but she’s high on my catch up list for sleepless nights.

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  5. made time for a wee catch up, both here and at fragile tender. too tired to write my multiples responses in all the comments but let’s just say i was smiling, laughing, interested, enlightened and inspired in equal measure (and that’s without even checking on the diary project). That Hello Kitty thing had me in fits, and your own new kitty had me making ooh ooh noises, esp the raised paw like avoiding a paparazzi shot. Your art writings seem so fitting as i delve into my art from my 1st major CFS period at college (I’m remind myself that my art saved me). Tired, want to ramble on but must stop. Can you pass on a ‘hi’ to Milla, I’ve not been to her blog for a while but she’s high on my catch up list for sleepless nights.

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  6. I am all too familiar with how the blahs can prohibit you from wanting to create anything. Even if you recognize the rut, it still is quite hard to do much about it. I think your approach of doing SOMETHING, even if you don’t end up keeping any of it is good therapy.

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  7. I am all too familiar with how the blahs can prohibit you from wanting to create anything. Even if you recognize the rut, it still is quite hard to do much about it. I think your approach of doing SOMETHING, even if you don’t end up keeping any of it is good therapy.

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  8. Thanks Fiona, I think the slump may be on the way out, although I’m still taking it easy as I get rid of the last of this dratted cold. I agree that the rubber bands look better large.

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  9. Thanks Marion, I’m finally starting to feel a bit better. I’d definitely recommend the photo groups – the more inspiring ones can really feed those creative fires.

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  10. Thanks Cally, I’m glad you were feeling well enough to spend some time on the net, it can be such a lifeline for those of us with CFS. I’ve been enjoying your latest photos of your college work too. I’ll pass your best wishes onto Milla.

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  11. Thanks Cally, I’m glad you were feeling well enough to spend some time on the net, it can be such a lifeline for those of us with CFS. I’ve been enjoying your latest photos of your college work too. I’ll pass your best wishes onto Milla.

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  12. Oh definitely, Mark. It’s good to just keep your hand in, I get quite miserable if I don’t – I managed to spend some time in my studio last week and it was amazing how it lifted my mood.

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  13. Oh definitely, Mark. It’s good to just keep your hand in, I get quite miserable if I don’t – I managed to spend some time in my studio last week and it was amazing how it lifted my mood.

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  14. Not only has my creative thinking been stretched at flickr and by feedback from various groups, the process of posting photos has made me realize how important it is to catalog one’s own artwork. So many times in the past a piece has left the studio undocumented – that won’t happen again.

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  15. Not only has my creative thinking been stretched at flickr and by feedback from various groups, the process of posting photos has made me realize how important it is to catalog one’s own artwork. So many times in the past a piece has left the studio undocumented – that won’t happen again.

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  16. I couldn’t agree more about the importance of documentation, Elaine. It’s something I need to address more forcibly in my own work. I was very on top of it in college when I had to be, now I’m not quite as dedicated about it as I need to be.

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  17. I couldn’t agree more about the importance of documentation, Elaine. It’s something I need to address more forcibly in my own work. I was very on top of it in college when I had to be, now I’m not quite as dedicated about it as I need to be.

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  18. I saw your rubber bands on the Flickr group feed – they look even better in the large. I really like the contrast with the surfaces beneath. I hope the slump passes soon.

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