I finally feel like something has clicked. A hazy light is seeping through and a way forward – almost – coming in to focus. And the most exciting thing about this is that it is emerging from a synthesis of research and my practice! Who would have thought that what is always recommended by all tutors and former students ever would actually work?
Feeling the pressure to make a decision about a theme for my extended essay last month, I decided to look at nostalgia – the uncanny kind, not the blancmange kind – and quickly discovered ‘hauntology’. Never heard of it before and now it is my new best friend. It may be a Generation X thing but I can totally relate to the idea of aching for the loss of a promised future. Just as the world was beginning to unfurl for me in the late 1970s and early 80s, Franco Berardi was describing the “slow cancellation of the future”. I would not have understood or believed him then but I certainly get it now.
The threads of my research are sparking ideas for resolving some of the challenges with my Body of Work. It has been a revelation to see how many of my ‘concerns’ (including my nihilistic depression about the state of global politics right now) could potentially be pulled together to drive my work forward. A long way to go yet but I think a pivot for my BoW could be in developing images which to convey my melancholy over lost futures – Brexit, the closure of the Nomadic Gardens and the dispersion of the community there, just life (and death) generally…
Some of the NCG images fit with that theme and may provide a basis to further develop the work but I also still intend to experiment with photomontage, overpainting and other interventions to see where it all takes me.