Throughout my artistic career, I have frequently fallen victim to the idea that artmaking must wait for the “perfect moment” when I am free of all other obligations in order to attain the mental capacity to create. I spend large amounts of my life feeling out of balance due to a lack of steady production, and yet I continually believe the invented narrative that I “do not have time” due to other career obligations. I intellectually know that I must find the time wherever possible, I must choose to prioritize art-making and experimentation rather than waiting on grand inspirations, lofty ideas, and vast rolling meadows of free time — still I find myself frequently paralyzed in this fog of inaction for months on end.
Coddiwomple is an informal verb that means “to travel in a purposeful manner towards a vague destination”. This site-specific photographic work embodies this term as I explore my everyday surroundings, requiring myself to make art on a consistent basis. Using experimental photographic processes, I aim to be playful, to not overthink or pre-plan. I choose to respond to my immediate environment and emotions at the time, to put unpolished whims on display, and work at regular intervals to break past habits of artistic stagnation. The term also touches on my current circumstances of potential life change, with the comfort that I can have confidence in my daily intentions despite not being yet able to fully envision an end goal. This work is the embodiment of a journey and a practice, with a future unwritten.
This project will be on display at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia as part of the Experimental Photo Festival this summer. The reception takes place Wednesday July 19, 7:30-9pm. I am grateful for my upcoming residency at Vermont Studio Center where I will plan the installation and construct the work, which will be installed from the ceiling of the second floor down to the ground floor. Even with this dedicated time to plan and create more components, I feel that the most poignant part of this work has been my ability to create it on a weekly basis — a feat I would have believed to be impossible to accomplish during the school year only just a few months ago. I have experienced so many breakthroughs in terms of ideas and techniques, accomplishments that I previously thought had to be relegated to breaks in my academic school year. While I also obviously hope it will be successful visually, given my experience, it is already a success in terms of proving to myself that I can overcome mental obstacles that keep me from artmaking.