Lesson Three - Sharon P.

Thanks for the articulation of the Committee. I think that I had dumped the Committee a little while ago through another agenda. I had undertaken theoretical PhD and one piece of advice I took on was to ditch people who tended to draw on your energy in a negative way. I followed this and it worked for me. I purposely failed to keep up having coffee or drinks till relationships faded somewhat.

However, now that I am returning to the studio I don’t actually have any Committee whispering in my ear – even the members that gives the support and good enthusiastic encouragement. So for me this week I am going to assemble them. I am going to invite them in and welcome them.

Sitting here in the studio with an absolutely empty household and reflecting deep within, really going deep within, I realise that perhaps there is a couple of negative sensations I get from people who I do consider form something of a Committee, and that in all honesty do impinge on my creativity – either in the studio or my academic work. These are people when I wake at 2.50 am that I start to imagine what I will say if I meet them because they have caused anger and hurt.

Here and now I am writing to my former work supervisor K. and remind her of how we got on so well, and eight years ago set up our facebook pages and invited each other to be friends. And think of the workshops, stimulating conversations and ideas we had to move our unit ahead …… ( edited as you guys don’t need to read this but I have now posted this in an unmarked envelope to rid myself of the burden)

I have grunted hello from time to time, even wishing to ignore K. when we meet in the corridor or on the stairs. She was on the Committee I now realise, the work Committee, which in my new found freedom should not interfere, but I know at 2.50 in the morning she is still on the Committee. I will ask for her resignation. I have chaired a Board and that has happened. I am going to buy a printer tomorrow so that I can print this and then burn it. It is over and done with.

I could add PP. but he doesn’t seem to get under my skin as much as K.

So the new Committee – in calling for nominations, I call upon my mother, who died when I was 16 years old. As well I call on my father who died when I was just going on 12 years old. I tend not to think of him much but since I began this course he entered a dream. And as with my mother who quite a few years back entered a dream, I had so much to show them, to tell them about, to tell them about my successes that are way beyond anything they could have dreamed of for me. So I invite them on as observers to see what I am doing. My sister Bernadette is always on my Committee, maybe I should tell her this. I honour her contributions to the things she says about my work. My other sister Elizabeth, she also died about 10 years ago and was an embroiderer and she can sit with my parents – she’s the lucky one who I don’t doubt have caught up with my parents. Actually when she was dying I said how lucky she was to be seeing Mum and Dad again. My other brother and sisters don’t really need to be on the Committee. I sort of put my first daughter and my son in this category. My youngest daughter is my soul mate and she needs to be on the Committee; but I am going to have to ask her to be a little more critical like my friend Julie who is a great one for enthusiasm – I know she will be critical when need be but I value her judgements.

I also need to deal with M. Why do I get annoyed when he comes into the studio and has a little look around? A sideways glance at my work annoys me – and more so when there is a comment. Why don’t I think he is ‘qualified’? He knows my work well enough, but … I just read the notes again ‘nobody gets hurt’ – so why do I feel it would hurt him but how do I circumvent this and get to a win win situation. Maybe I need to share other aspects in my life in order to protect this area. What are my real fears here? Why do I really enjoy it when Mark is at the coast and I have no-one who will dome into the studio at random. He knows how much I treasure these times by myself. Maybe I need to reward him for this behaviour. Maybe he is the Noble Friend then. In one sense he doesn’t give me what I want – okay and see that my limited opportunities are a gift. – it is tempered with frustration – tempered steel – okay.

Why don’t I like some people looking at my work in progress? Sometimes I am not ready to share. I believe I want to work away, work through thoughts, and work through imagery. After reading the biography on Romaine Brooks I feel somewhat comforted in that she worked in isolation. I think that is where my stumbling block was when I took up academic studies, moving away from studio work. I did not enjoy family members coming into the studio. I think perhaps I felt inhibited by their gaze on my work. I would like privacy. How do I achieve this? AND be a family member? The rebel may come into play here. Perhaps I should not be accessible to all when I am in the studio. When I had a studio away from the house I could lock up and lock out anyone I wanted to.

Perhaps I will have a little fan group that are welcome to be on the periphery – Alexeena and Heldi, my niece Aeron. Actually I think I need to build up this area. Since I finished my PhD 8 years ago my extended friendship base has shrunk. Ann B could be on this.

I have just finished a two year project this week and have now committed to moving on towards textile work. Now that I reflect there may well be people I have interacted with over this time that could be useful for the committee. This course is helping set the course of where I am going.

I could ask Diana J to be on the committee, she has much to offer. Maybe getting the trip out to Lake Mungo would be a way of getting the committee together. I will invite committee members out there.

The other negative lump on the Committee and it is one that I have constructed is this idea that I am too old for the game. Coming back in at this stage might seem to be too late, but I don’t think so. But I need the confidence and so getting rid of this lump would help.