The quiet that follows directly after Christmas and New Year is a time I particularly relish. Many people are away and numerous institutions are closed, so with fewer frustrating interruptions on their part and only a modicum of guilt on mine, I give myself permission to take time out to read, recreate, reflect, recollect, reconnect, rest, refresh and recharge.
I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to the studio at Ballarat, the first stage of which was completed less than a year ago. Once the rudimentary furniture and equipment were in place, I was able to start work right away, something I’ve never before experienced with a new workspace, where it can take considerable time to settle in and establish something resembling a working routine.
Although a handful of my works hung in the space, the walls remained relatively unadorned. Lately, however, specific projects spanning the next couple of years are very much on my mind. Before I set off in new directions, I must first get my bearings. Principally this involves reconnecting with selected key works, and the best way to do this is to have them around me. Consequently, we have just done a major hang. Particular works may be familiar, but collectively the work has never been configured in this way, enabling me to see it in a fresh light. Moreover, the space feels far more my own than it did before, surely a solid basis for starting a New Year and new work.
Next week everything will be pretty well back to normal. The hiatus was all too brief, but it feels like the groundwork for my journey has been firmly laid.
In the meantime, in between time, here is the story so far.
The studio was originally a substantial garage. Its conversion was drawn-out because we were constantly juggling it with other areas of our lives, most notably work commitments. Aside from plumbing and wiring, Shane did most of the work, thus saving me thousands of dollars. The following three photographs were taken when the process of insulating the walls and ceiling was well under way.
On the afternoon the transformation was finally achieved, we celebrated with a glass of bubbly. Belying the photos directly above, the "finished" studio was a tranquil, light-filled space. It had such a good feel, we didn’t want to leave, and ended up having our evening meal there.
The remaining photographs (including the one that heads this post) were taken last week. They aim to give an idea of the studio as it is now.