News, Essays & Exhibition Blurb

Making Notes:

Wed 20th Dec 2017

As an artist I need to make notes; to remember an unexpected speck of information, a moment of inspiration, that trigger of a connection with a current piece of work, a sudden clarification of thoughts, that something which moves one’s thinking along or simply stuff I want to research into later. 

But one must not write too much. Or too little. A note has to be the perfect length. Neither too long nor too diminutive. Too condensed a scribbled note, and reading back proves difficult. Written in haste on a scrap of paper it becomes a challenge to decipher, the snippet of information too small to take forward. But too long and one is prone to over embellish, loose one’s thread, end up disjointing, conflating, over thinking and compromising a good nugget. 

So the perfect note is not over elaborated, it still retains the clarity of the moment, can still ignite the flame, that flash of inspiration and be worked on into something material. Transformed from a written sequence of words into a tactile hand formed piece of artwork. 

As a dyslexic note maker my relationship with words is strained. I sometimes struggle to write the word that I want to use, so I have to search for an alternative that I can spell. These replacements are never quite right, never equivalent. And those moments scrabbling for ‘another’ word mean that I lose the very thing I am trying to capture. The substituted, but spell-able words subtly change the essence of what I wanted to express, causing frustration. They can spoil the note, making it more rational, normal, expected. 

Dyslexia gives one a special language. I might be stripped of the properlanguage, but my alternative is just different, unique even. And that is what I want and need my notes to capture, that individual thought, evocation and something that I can use in my making. It needs to written, noted as I think, rather than correctly spelt but readable and useable too.