New Blogsite

As this project draws to an end, so also will this blogsite. I am pleased that I have this comprehensive documentary of my journey over the past 10-months. But fear not, I have started another blog to document what happens from here at: www.nataliedowseart.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Next move




I gave a talk about my career path, residencies and the Vickers Award today at the University of Portsmouth (as an ex-student).

What was really great is that the speaker following me was Wayne Hemingway - who I must say was very entertaining and funny.

What he had to say made a lot of sense. He was very inspirational and obviously has a very strong work ethic.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On the move again





Today I travelled back to Portsmouth as tomorrow I'm giving a presentation at the University about the Vickers Award at a Next Move conference. This was much more relaxing than driving, but took quite a while longer. Unfortunately I felt travel sick and these photos are not helping right now... quick where's the sick bag!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Hmmm which way?



QUAD today:


QUAD hoardings with photographs by Jon Legge & David Graham:


Derby Ram:

Sunday, January 27, 2008

45 minutes later...



Please excuse my self-indulgence. I just need a coffee, biscuits and a bear hug!

Lost and rattling around somewhere in my head!

4.30pm:




Today I've been lost in research and thoughts (yes hard to believe I know). This is a good place to be in so far as creativity is concerned but simultaneously it's a frustrating place. The race to grab hold of something before it fades away. As I am documenting my jouney here I thought I would try and capture how I feel when this happens. The day has whizzed by whilst I've been drawing. So I stop to have a cup of tea and take a look out of the window to see the sun setting. I haven't even been out of the flat today, although I am desperate for some coffee. But I feel that I can't stop as it takes a lot of effort for me to even get to this place - and once I'm here it is annoying but worth it. I somehow feel disconnected to the world around me. I don't mean this to sound poetic or flag this up as somehow being 'special' because I don't believe it is. It is just that I have to work hard at this stuff. Once I have researched and discovered what I am doing next (conceptually and aesthetically etc) and have begun to overcome that battle - I then have the task of creating the paintings etc. This can be as equally frustrating. However, the best part is a space in between these two processes when I am so excited with what I am about to do. This is very good.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Underdogs


Today Havant & Waterlooville FC play the giants that are Liverpool in the FA cup. I think as a nation we love the underdog, and what a fantastic opportunity for the H&W footballers who also have 'proper jobs' when they're not running around a pitch!

I will be routing for them. I grew up in a place called Bedhampton (in the borough of Havant about 10 miles from Portsmouth) and went to school in Waterlooville. I wonder what will happen? I hope it's not too embarrassing. I won't be placing any bets!

How often do we have an allegiance to the place we grew up? I didn't move around from place-to-place when I was young and maybe that's why I have very strong ties to this place that I still call home (most of my family live there too). Although I've lived in Cornwall, London and now Derby that has always felt temporary in some way as I am usually doing something specific in these places. I wonder how long I would need to stay in a place to feel totally connected in this way?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hooray!

Back in lovely sunny Derby.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Talk at De La Warr Pavilion


This afternoon I travelled to Bexhill-on-Sea to deliver an evening talk about residencies and the Vickers Award for ARC at the De La Warr Pavilion. All cosy in my seafront B&B now after eating delicious fish and chips. Relaxing in preparation for my journey back to Derby tomorrow. I'm hoping that the car is really cured - fingers crossed!

Monday, January 21, 2008

5pm today - Southsea seafront without a tripod






Canoe lake:

Looks just like Derby with bit of imagination!

Stranded in Pompey!


Canoe Lake 1948

Yep that's right I'm stranded in Portsmouth. Car trouble - it's currently in the garage for investigation into its cooling system. Managed to get home Friday night to find the car seriously overheating on arrival, and since then it's been losing a lot of water. Luckily I have my computer, camera, research and sketchbook with me so I can work from here. Going off to Bexhill-on-Sea on Wednesday to give a talk about the Vickers Award and residencies - so travelling from here now, which is actually quite a lot closer than Derby - so there is some justice after all. It's just not what I'd planned.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Research & development



I have completed another small series of paintings this week - so now I'm allowing myself some time for research and development to established which direction I'm going to take next. Knowing which line of enquiry to follow can sometimes be the most difficult obstacle - so this needs some serious thought (well I'll try anyway). In the mean time more tea 'Vicker(s)' (see what I did there!!!!!!!!!)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More cheese...



Well as the cheese caused almost as much of a stir as the tea!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Random ramblings

Today at 3pm:


I no longer feel like a stranger here in Derby. In fact today I feel content and part of this place - I have developed an affection for it, an attachment that will probably never be broken. I feel that I have met some lovely people and made some good friends. On this journey I am learning more about myself than I could have ever imagined. I knew that this project would be as much about me as the opportunity to develop work. I always feel most creative and alive when life and art are intrinsically linked - where the separation is less defined. This is the place I wanted to be once again - this is the essence of this opportunity.

I am very critical of myself and my work and if I was to be very honest I would say that perhaps I have played things a little safe. But my conclusion is that this is a natural state of affairs - my need to control and contain. The challenge will be to see if I make a little step (no matter how small) away from this, to go beyond a boundary if only to dip my toe for a moment. In the words of The Mighty Boosh, 'See a boundary, eat a boundary'.

In fear of this blog becoming a self-indulgent confessional - take a look at this photo of a pigeon beautifully poised on an aerial (believe me it is a pigeon):



On playing, boundaries and digital media:

"The most important effect that the digital process has had for me in respect of my art practice is that it has given me the freedom to play beyond set boundaries. The use of the word 'play' by no means suggests non-serious or trivial inference: play is fundamental to all art and in the digital process we have found an important and exciting form of this, giving new possibilities of such a fluid and dynamic nature that its importance cannot be overstated". ROBIN DOHERTY

This week's soundtrack:

The Hope of the States



The Dresden Dolls

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The very beginnings...


So here we have the very beginnings of something - which will change a lot over the next few days.

A DILEMMA:
If something is too easy, does it mean the result is not good enough?
If something is too difficult, does it mean the result is not good enough?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Guess who's back?


Yes you got it! I'm back in Derby. This is the lovely photo my friend Vineta sent me as part of a 'Happy New Year' message. I recognise these seats well - they're in Riga's city park. I have sat in this park many times during my visits - but I've never seen it looking quite like this - a real winter wonderland.

I wonder if there'll be any snow in Derby?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Wii strain versus wee strain

So 2008 has arrived and I am suffering from wii strain. I will explain. I went to a party on New Year's Eve and played on a wii for the first time. One of the games was boxing - so naturally I threw myself into it. I still have really pulled muscles in my arms and a bump and bruise on my head. I was fighting so hard that I let go of one of the handsets which swung around like swingball and clacked me on the back of the head and it still hurts. However, it could be worse I could be suffering from wee strain like one of my new cats. I have adopted my sister's two cats this Christmas and I've had to take one of them to the vets already - unfortunately she has cystitis so is having a few problems and keeps peeing on the floor - nice! She has cost a fortune - but she's very cute and the friendliest cat I've ever met.

This blog entry hasn't got a lot to do with my project, however, I'm having to feed my addiction to blogging and it's been too long. Anyway, I'll soon be back to work.