Friday, 14 October 2011

The Devil's Wind

As an artist in residence in Aberystwyth, you can't help but be knocked out by the weather, which blows in from the Irish sea, and speeds up the hill to the art centre most days. Its hard not to fall into that uniquely British trap of talking about the weather with my fellow resident artists, as the weather does have such an effect on your existence here, although we have begun to joke that the status quo is huge gusts of wind, short squalling showers of rain and fast moving clouds blowing in from the sea. When the sun shines through in brief patches, its so welcome that you end up feeling guilty remaining inside your studio.

I first arrived in my studio full of the excitement at the potential new work I was going to make, and itching to get started. I only tripped myself up though in the beginning deciding what exactly it was going to be that I would start on. I made a lot of use of the library in the first couple of weeks that I was in Aberystwyth (in the days before the population doubled with the arrival of this years batch of freshers, and all the returning other students for the start of term) and started down a path that was leading straight to the devil. I have been reading from Edmund Jones' accounts of appearances and sightings of the devil accross Wales during the 1700s, and his admission that he never really bothered to come to Cardigonshire. He is firm though in his belief that had he made it to these parts then he would have "received many accounts" of devilish activity and appearance.

So its into this void that I have stepped, constructing, in my head only at the moment, a devilish dance routine, ritual procession, and set of straw costumes for both the day and the night. I am hoping to assemble a chair to accompany these characters but at the moment that's all ahead of me.

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