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  • Writer's pictureGillian Holding

Left Bank Residency: Day 3

Experiments with paint

Day three and Left Bank if anything seems even colder than days one and two. Luckily the warmth of the resident artists’ camaraderie more than compensates. There’s apparently such a buzz of conversation and exchanges between us all that a new intern arriving this week thinks we are an artist collective who all work together regularly.

Working normally in the comparative isolation of my studio, I forget how genuinely invigorating and inspiring it is to be able to talk art non-stop all day long. Although we are all working independently there is also a collaborative cooperative practice connecting us. We are all seeing the space as an integral whole, and making decisions accordingly from day to day in the light of what happens day to day.

I’m at that challenging point of having to brainstorm practical and technical presentation and hanging issues before the work has actually been made and in worrying awareness that there’s no spare time to fiddle and re-work if stuff doesn’t “fit” whether aesthetically or technically. The stuff of nightmares, and it’s fair to say that three days in I already feel sleep-deprived. Since back up plans B, C, and D all involve working through the night if need be to resolve or finish things by the deadline, the sleep issue isn’t going to disappear any time soon.

Alongside sorting technical hassles in abstract, experiments with my materials are proceeding satisfactorily save that the low temperatures mean that the acrylics I’m using are drying at the speed of oil paint. Trying to apply gold leaf to wet acrylic is not a technique I’ll be using much in the future.

But amidst the stress and glorious failures of early experimentation, there’s a real gleam of excitement about what may be emerging. Thank goodness.

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