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  • Writer's pictureGillian Holding

Control and surrender

surrendering to process

I was talking with a fellow studio holder yesterday about controlling process, and surrendering to process. It’s a narrow tightrope and one of interest to all artists of any kind.

I’m as equally interested in craft and technique as I am in the concepts underlying the making of art. But fundamentally, technique and skill is but the means to the end and it’s counterproductive for me to try and control the outcome of materials.

Over the past few weeks of experimenting with the verre eglomisé technique and adapting it to my own ends, I’ve discovered a process which works well enough to sort of guarantee a minimally acceptable result whatever happens. Unless I accidentally spray silver paint across half the right side. Which has happened once already this week.

Magic happens and the work transcends “minimally acceptable results” when I let go and trust in the process – but not too late.

The problem is that because the results are unknowable as and until I tear off the protective polythene backing, it’s all pretty much unknowable the whole way along.

I was literally painting in the darkness at times in the Left Bank residency, but even painting in sunshine(?) today, I feel I may just as well be blindfolded.

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