On and off over the weekend, I’ve been weaving together two paintings which I made as abstract landscape studies several years ago; as a way of starting something new.
It was difficult. Not because it was technically difficult (although there are always technical difficulties). But because I didn’t know what I was doing. And because I felt like it could fail. The paintings came from the recycling pile though, and what would have been the point of doing the work if I had already known what was going to happen? This is the struggle. In the end I managed to bypass the anxiety, and just inhabit the uncertainty, without becoming mired in futures. The stupidity of the studio – I think this is what William Kentridge calls it.
Initially though, I was anxious and frustrated (with myself and my slowness in cutting the strips, numbering the strips, weaving the strips, making mistakes in the weave pattern and undoing the weave). Also, frustrated because after several hours I unpicked the whole thing and began again. The first weave I chose was patterned, a little like the weave patterns I have seen on Mauritian baskets. I wanted, because of our family history, to borrow the patterns for my weaving. But in the end it wasn’t right, and I used a plain twill.
And by the time I finished the piece this afternoon, I felt I couldn’t stop, was feeling sorry that I had finished, was thinking ‘I’ll start another, what drawings can I use?’
We are such emotional beings. (Or at least, I am).