What happens when you think

The hermit-like side of my personality relishes the opportunity to be alone for short periods of time and over the past week I have had the opportunity to shut myself away, take solitary walks and think. This brief period of reclusiveness is nearly over (I should now busy cleaning the house and cooking as my family is coming down like a deluge for the Easter weekend!) but I have come to a bit of a decision about my next piece of work.

A reflective period is always good. It’s a time to let your mind wander along no particular path, to let thoughts come to the fore or to consolidate ideas that have been pushed back but that won’t go away. One of those niggling ideas has been scratching away at me for some time and I’ve now decided that I don’t want to push it away again.


As you may have realised I’ve been drawing a lot recently and my sketchbook has accompanied me on nearly all of my walks – quick sketches, watercolours and drawings have all found their way onto its pages. I seldom work from my drawings. Instead they work as a sort of discipline – to stop, to look, to listen – to pay attention and to understand what is going on around me. I have been thinking that I should take these scribbles out of the sketchbook to live a life of their own but I realise now that I can’t (or won’t) do it.

P1220884 P1220885

Instead I’ve been thinking back to a piece of work that I did 7 years ago that was inspired by the music of Benjamin Britten and the North Norfolk landscape. It was a visual notation that merged landscape and music – a graphic score based on writing down sound through drawing. This piece connected the repetitive and rhythmic elements of the music and movements within the landscape.




Postcard 1

Sea Interlude, 6m x 50cms, 2008

I’ve always wanted to do another piece on the same scale but felt that it would be going backwards – a  re-tracing of old ground, but I’ve realised that it couldn’t possibly be a going backwards. Everything I’ve done between then and now would intervene to prevent it from being a rehash. Even using similar textile techniques it wouldn’t ever be the same. My recent drawing activity has reinforced the idea that looking at the rhythms and energies of nature is (in my mind at least) the same experience as listening to it. I have a need to do another piece of work that connects and consolidates these ideas.

I’ve talked myself into it – I’m doing the research and going for it!  More details later …..


6 thoughts on “What happens when you think

  1. Chris Ruston

    I always think it means you haven’t finished working with the idea yet, and it needs to “just be” for a while. I agree totally that if you do revisit previous work it will be different as all the other experiences in between will inform in in some way.

    Look forward to seeing what happens


  2. epocktextiles (Jane B)

    great idea to revisit rhythms of nature. your sketches are exquisite and as you say they make you stop and really look at what is happening around you.great idea, looking forward to seeing where it takes you

    1. Jo

      Part of what binds us to a place or a piece of music, is the remembered elements, or a connection we want to renew. I think it will be fascinating to see how it evolves (and yet is very recognisable) this time.

  3. Carol Boyer

    My father always use to say” you can not step in the same river twice”. The river if time has changed you and even in trying to do something similar – the work will still be from a little different point of view. It is good to revisit old ideas as one has new insights into what we did, why we did it and where it may lead. So go forward and touch an old theme with new eyes and hands. I want to see how the new you treats it.

  4. Beverley

    A friend told me, only ever need 5 topics max for a lifetime. work on one, ideas exhausted move to another, but ideas resurface for previous, so go back. I’m trying to follow that advice. having seen this piece, its a wow, and I’m sure a follow on will have equal impact.


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