It’s exactly a year since I left my previous studio in Spitalfields, and I’m finally almost settled at my present space in Brixton. It’s difficult to comprehend why the move took so very long, but when I break things down to what it entailed, I guess it makes sense. I had to make on-the-spot decisions, plus longer-term sorts, which included putting all my previous work in storage. This was necessary as there would have been no room to make new work.
Above – Some very old and some recent stuff that I chucked before moving certain works to my exhibition in Peckham, which took place in August of last year. Instead of moving the work back to Spitalfields after taking down the exhibition, I stored it in a temporary space at the Brixton studios where I intended to move. I hated this studio, and there was no way I was going to be able to work in it. I had to wait for a more suitable place to come up in the same building, which eventually happened. I wasn’t too unhappy about taking an enforced break, because the upheaval took its toll, both physically, emotionally, and financially. It took a year in all to finally arrive and settle in my present studio after a friend helped me with the move from the second to the first floor – which meant I didn’t have to hire outside help as with the other moves. This was very generous on her part – the next day I couldn’t move, but I was most grateful for the help.
Then, there was so much stuff when I finally arrived at my present space, I had to put it in storage. (see picture above) Whew! It took 5 moves in all: 1. from Spitalfields to my exhibition in Peckham. 2. from Peckham to the temporary space in Brixton. 3. the rest of my stuff from Spitalfields to Brixton. 4. from the temporary to the permanent space that I have now. 5. To the storage unit. I realise that nobody would be interested in this mundane information, but I just need to record it for myself.
The picture above – is of part of my present studio, where I haven’t quite settled, but gradually getting accustomed to the changes, thank goodness. The Brixton studios are a very different kettle of fish compared to that of Spitalfields where I worked for over 20 years, and although the move was traumatic in part, I’m glad I did it. A time presents itself when it becomes clear that it is time to move on. I suppose intuitively I recognised that I had used all the energy in the space I had been in for so long, although as a functioning studio it had served me well for many years. There are over 160 studios on 3 floors at Brixton – Spitalfields has a studio block which is much smaller in comparison, comprising about 30 studios. I lived in Brixton for 33 years until I moved to Clapham nearly 3 years ago. One of the advantages of my present studio is that I’m back in my old haunts. When I moved from Brixton, I didn’t miss my flat, but I missed the area. As Clapham adjoins Brixton, I can either bus or walk to the studios and it feels good to be back.