Week 3 | In/Fertility Worlds, journals and DIY life
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Digital Work| Animation | Recording of In/fertility journal entries |Contacts | Research
Frame of a work in progress animation loosely around the narrative of ovulation
This week was dedicated to digital werk.
The main task of this week was to choose some of my digital drawings and sketches and try and animate them. All of my animations will be done from my Ipad. Gotta get those digital skills in myself. My learning is often DIY. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do some courses and have a lovely human nurture my potential, but it comes with an unaffordable price tag, so I watch free tutorials online.
This is the first time I think about my drawings and their relationship to storytelling through a medium like animation. There's a steep learning curve about movement, dynamics and styles. I like 2D, flat scruffy animations inspired by, say, psychedelia, surrealism, or pop art. But the lines must not to be too perfect, smooth or straight. They very quickly get visually boring for me. I'm not trying to make a menu for a restaurant or some ditzy stickers for someone's laptop afterall. There's nothing wrong with either, it's just a matter of personal preference.
Less exciting, but equally needed was working on the making of a contact list of people I’d like to invite to take part into my open studio in April. This needs a little more work. Publicity isn’t my strength, so if you're reading this, and it's yours, and...you're curious about what I do, get in touch. :)
This week went fast but the jobs were slow: fed on press releases to understand the language I’ll use for mine, uploaded a few more things on my website, wrote a list of what I need to update on it. Yawn, basically. However, I've uploaded the first two weeks of this progress journal on here - it took a lot longer than I intended. The images needed to be resized and cropped and for whatever reason the syncing between my laptop and my other devices wasn’t up to my pace. These jobs suck the life out of me sometimes. I’m honest. Boring, boring, boring. But hopefully useful. Blogs are dead, apparently. But whatever. I'm doing it anyway.
Towards the end of the week I began the first larger scale painting of this residency. It was always one of my objectives: to be in a studio and use the space to make something bigger, just for my eyes to enjoy. I decided to recycle the canvas from an old painting from 2008 I knew was rubbish. I see it as a development of some of my drawings, but aside from that, I'm being quite free and letting the painting come to life. There's enough planning in this residency already. I just know the sky will be indigo. Great start. I also don't know if I'll be able to finish any of them, but that's the beauty of this residency. I don't have to. It makes me feel amazing.
Here's the exciting part: I began working on a hybrid performance idea over the weekend, focusing on the audio side of things with George Paris, a gifted musician/composer and unexplained infertility partner. I’ve been itching to try out this type of performance since lockdown when I first attended a cool online gig that had intervals of video art and performance streamed live from a recording studio. And it wasn't boring at all, just in case you might think it was. It was the best thing that happened digitally for me. And it was inspiring. There’s also been quite a few other projects that slowly got me into this new obsession alongside, well, lockdown, and, working with lots of amazing theatre people, who seemed always so ready to put on an accent or become a character, it was contagious.
To get started, I took three texts from my In/fertility journals and recorded myself reading them. We plan to take them apart, breaking them, and sampling them and see what sounds come out of them. We also went through a series of pads and keys and George patiently recorded the awfully infuriating voice messages of various fertility clinics to play with. In the In/Fertility world there's an ongoing joke about the amount of people, including professionals, who stress the importance of relaxation in the process of conceiving a baby in lab or not. And it's ironic, because the journey within the system that provides support and treatment to those affected by different degrees of subfertility is everything BUT relaxing. You're lucky if you speak to a person when you need to. And I think there should be an award for the worst music-on-hold when in line to be spoken to.
Cherry on the cake, I spent Sunday evening searching for fertility videos on YouTube: news, protests, interviews etc. that we might be able to sample or use in one way or another. Quite a lot of ideas which means quite a lot of work. And some of the stuff I found was full-on overwhelming: people who don't think the NHS should fund fertility, the UK postcode lottery, people against IVF in France, people who spent over 50k to get pregnant. Yeah, it's not easy to take all of it in.
Thinking back to queer theory, or ideas of queer story telling is really good for me though,
or simply how to convey some stuff of the In/fertility worlds with a queer approach to it too. I'm also reminding myself that queerness doesn't have to be in your face all the time, the same way as environmental 'sustainability' doesn't either. There can be nuances, subtleties and explorations that are open-ended questions.
There’s days when I think about my practice and think that I’m a fox, or a raccoon, or, a magpie: going through my neighbourhood’s rubbish, waste and leftovers, trying to make it do, and actually finding a lot of joy in it. Said that, next week I’ll look for more funding opportunities. I’d like my life to be less precarious. In the meantime, I’ll keep going the way I can. But oh, how I struggle when people (usually VERY privileged people) say stuff like: 'you know, if you really want something, you just do it.'
Hey, do you want to support my work?
WEEK 3's GOOD EGGS:
The Language of Fertility Manifesto for change - Download it here.
Change the language that is used to describe, define, and diagnose infertility – by medical experts, by the media, and by society
Combat the common words and phrases that can indirectly inflict pain on someone who is struggling to have a baby
The Renaming Revolution
The Renaming Revolution is a movement to reform the subtly sexist vocabulary women experience throughout fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood