A conversation yesterday made me realise that it never ends. It is forever…always…ongoing. There is no clear the desk, switch out the light, close the door, finish. No ‘tick the box’ done. Like water, like a river ‐ creativity is fluid, sort of joined up ‐ continuous. No actual beginning, no actual end. It just keeps coming – flowing (or not!) unbidden. Trickling sometimes… even smelly stagnant…even dried up (now we don’t want that do we)…until the next impromptu shower of stimulus has you bobbing along quite nicely again. A thunderclap downpour of ideas and you’re whisked off down stream at a rate too fast to comprehend – (hey! but this is when the ride gets good!) – or conversely washed up, spewed out – with the choice always there of whether to jump back in. I suppose everybody’s river is different. Whirlpools, bumpy rapids, stoppers and lots of rocks seem to be the order of the day right now, and I feel like I’m desperately struggling to swim with the current ‐ battling to regain some semblance of control, trying to keep head above water, gulping great mouthfuls … a tenuous line between going under and turning that new, exciting bend. I guess it would be pleasant to just float gently, smoothly sometimes. To go with the flow ‐ face up ‐ composed. Mmm…perhaps a little too passive. Of course, I know it’s possible to pull out onto an island now and again, but basically you are just in it ‐ or it’s in you – until you reach the destination. The hard truth is, you don’t want to find that place…ever. It’s the journey that’s the interesting bit. A side thought: I remember loving ‘doing’ rivers in geography at school. The stages as I recall, were likened to life. ‘Young’ bubbling up from the ground, tumbling down the mountainside. Then on to oxbow lakes and the meanderings of middle age… Oh stop! Too depressing! Does this mean I will never get to feel the free fall of waterfall again, only the slow silting of the wide spreading delta to look forward to in ‘old age’? Er… no thank you! I’m off to swim upstream and forget that analogy.
Artists in Residence at the V&A
With an exciting and ever-changing programme of artists and designers, there’s never a dull moment in our residency studios. We will give you an exclusive look into what it’s like to be in residence at the world’s greatest museum of art and design.
We have a thriving and exciting programme of artists in residence here at the Museum, with at least two practitioners inhabiting our studios at any given time.
Here we show the process of being an artist or designer in residence here at the V&A, with behind-the-scenes insights and stories from Residency Co-ordinator, Laura Southall, and the artists themselves.