Fictious Fantasies and Fact

I had fantasies about the library.

I'd be tucked away in a dark dusty corner of an old world library reading all those seminal texts that you feel obliged to read but can never be sufficiently bothered to read. I would ponder profound ideas, letting my mind open out on to vast planes of new thoughts. Volumes of notes would be complied in moleskine journals as I embarked on the voyage of my Literature Review. In the early evening I'd stare thoughtfully off into the twilight distance of grand possibility. I'd saturate myself in knowledge. Id arise from difficult text suffering and virtuous. I'd be scholarly.

But it turns out learning is not elegant or picturesque. My library hours are spent under the scrutiny of florescent lights, in front of screens, scrolling through electronic databases. The volumes of notes are photocopied and highlighted and marked with colour coded post-it notes and shoved in a wonky metal filing cabinet. But beyond the aesthetic clash of sentimental nostalgia and hard edged modernity, its the activity in my head that is vastly different in reality. It feels like I'm walking around in a fat suit trying to construct thoughts out of unwieldy railway sleepers using an inflatable carnival mallet.

Beginning is awkward.

In the studio my first month has been dominated by a head bloated with the question How?' How will I archive all my research? How does this endnote/wireless/swipecard/Learning management system/email/library catalogue work? How will I make anything in a room which is small enough for me to touch all four walls with all four limbs? How will I make new work in front of others?  How will I cope with the necessary failures of creativity? How can I reconcile the fear of loss when nothing new is happening? How will I let go?

At least the question is 'How?'
It means there is a way.
Or ways.

This week I took on the awkwardness, the how and the ways and experimented with the possibility that my studio was no longer a fixed venue. Based on the Italian translation of studio meaning a place to go and contemplate, I tried to surrender the productive habit of locking myself in the same room everyday all day, in the frugal hope that a change of habit would change the outcome and so I set out on my bike to find thinking places.

I have created a scale for the degree of difficult thinking, reading or writing that each space provides.
1 is extremely difficult, vertigo inducing thinking.
5 is low level glancing, browsing, mulling things over type of thinking.

Studio Extension 1 - Rob's cafe.

Score: 3
Cosy. Friendly. Quiet enough mid morning to spread out my notes. Access to exceptionally good coffee. Its a comfortable place which I could pull a 2 degree of difficulty work-wise, but its very neighbourhoody and the likelhood of bumping into someone I know, and getting distracted are high.

Studio Extension 2 - The Botanical gardens.

Score: 4
After swatting several biting things I spent half an hour combating a persistent breeze that had just enough strength to distract me. I struggled to peg down my skirt, my hair, my piles of papers, let alone a thought in my head. Short articles could be tackled after consulting the weather.

Its a start even if its a stuttering stumble.