With 'not precisely knowing' in me, I recently went to Ameland with 1 well-known and 4 for me unknown artists, for an Artist in Residence week.
A week in which I would surrender to 'wonder' and 'not precisely knowing' (the title of a beautiful poem by Emily Dickinson by the way). A week in which I would become acquainted with different (graphics) techniques. And a week in which I would start working on new work. A week of working in isolation from agenda, appointments and distractions, in very good company. Only art! I couldn't wait for it to start.
It was a week of wonder, of playing with techniques which were new to me, such as monoprinting, etching and mixed media. A week of researching how I can combine that with my photo work.
Vary with making films with each other, sharing our concerns about the state of the world (because that was also there of course), enjoying the nature of Ameland and great music from time to time, a whole new creative and unbound world unfolded in front of my eyes and hands. I saw what it does to my creativity when I surrender to not knowing. I saw it in the other artists and in myself. An exciting process of trying, doing, doing again and again and again…. until it's good enough. And especially don't worry about it if 'it' is not yet what you have in mind. Or just start all over again. A learning process.
It was also a week in which I got to know 5 fantastic artists. It is special how we became familiar with each other after one day, how we inspired each other with work, with nice conversations and with humor. Thanks to Doet, Betty, Helga, Ellen and Hannah! It was a joy to work with you. I experienced this week's invitation as a gift; that I said yes to that I see as a gift to myself.
After a week of 'playing', the aforementioned battle with new work can now begin. The photo above, a combination of monoprint and photography, is the first result of this. The title, unsurprisingly, is "wonder"
During the week on Ameland I started to look at my work in a different way, and this opens up other possibilities. For some time now my motto has been: by taking the time you will see more and look differently. This makes everything you see and experience more meaningful. A constant challenge, by the way. On Ameland I was able to experience that again in the full width. By taking the time, on my own but certainly also with each other - we need each other so much - we connect and imagine. And imagination is what we are invited to, especially in the present day. At least that's how I experience it.
The world needs care, attention, love and certainly beauty, especially now.