Despite setting up and hosting the Keeping up Momentum session, I have been struggling to find the time and motivation to make work. I’ve had lots of ideas and paths presenting themselves to me but have just felt heavy and slow and too anxious to commit to any decisions.
However, inspired by some of the source materials posted on the Keeping up Momentum Padlet, I recently began experimenting in the kitchen and in our garden, looking at creating abstract map-like images of my current micro-terrain. OCA Painting tutor Bryan Eccleshall had posted a fictional map and an extract from Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’. I had been thinking about how we are all obsessed now with microbiology, what surrounds us and may lie on every surface but which we cannot see. And meanwhile, the parameters and scale of our day-to-day wanderings have shrunk. The tiniest details of our new worlds take on a new appearance and significance.
We keep hearing that these are “unprecedented times” and we are in “uncharted waters” and it is hard to not believe that very real danger lurks beyond the boundaries of our garden. My world is just right here for the moment and these images are helping me to explore my feelings of confinement and uncertainty. The hauntology is there in every moment – a simultaneous presence and absence, the irrevocable past and a lost future. I feel grief but also hope that a better human world can be constructed as we shamble out of this current crisis.
These images were all taken on my smartphone so are not great quality. They have though been helpful – phenomenologically – as a basis for me to start working more earnestly. I can experiment further, continue to shoot and decide soon if this approach could feed into a body of work exploring melancholy/hauntology. Here are some charts for these uncharted waters of lockdown.