Such a productive exercise!
Although I already had a fair grip on the general meaning behind my work, I’ve been able to make discoveries and new connections.
And connections is the key…..by listing what I care about and what brings me joy, I saw that my love of the natural world is firmly based on the complex interactions between species and environment and the fine balance, the web of life, which results in the biodiversity which my work celebrates. What I care about most, and the message behind my work, is the man made disruption of this balance through climate change, habitat loss, pollution and far too many other things.
Conceptually, the processes that I use rely on connections - knitting, knotting, weaving etc - which suggests ideas for experimentation around disrupting these connections for future work.
I followed this by mind mapping past work for content and meaning, and could see how well much of it ‘connected' with the idea of this fine balance. It presented a much more cohesive narrative than I had previously seen. Now I see why it’s particularly important to me that all my work is connected. Exciting stuff!
Finally, I’ve repeated the process on my current work on Trees. I’ve been struggling with this as it has felt like a series of disparate ideas that I’m trying to force together. Planned as a ‘portmanteau’ piece, the mind map has given me a clear picture of not only how but why the elements fit together, and as a bonus has helping identify an additional element that completes the story. I can see a clear path now.