Robyn Emerson

Spring 2023

“You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers that morning, you don’t know who your friends are, you don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you.  This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation.  At first you may find that nothing happens there.  But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.”   Joseph Campbell.

“I don’t know where my ideas come from, but I know where they go to.  They come to my desk, and if I’m not there, they go away again.”  Phillip Pullman

“We don’t know where we get our ideas from.  What we do know is that we don’t get them from our lap tops.” John Cleese

And its really spring here, new website in the works now, and the studio getting organised with a spring clean and a shiny new sink with hot and cold water.  Its fabulous.

            When we moved here all my studio things, paint brushes, jars, paints, everything, was jumbled higgedly piggly in boxes into what we then called the garage.  It is just a metal garage and used to have a funny smell as waste water pipes had been connected to the sewer, but weren’t being used.  And from a nothing, disorganised, slightly smelly grey space its been transformed into a colourful, functioning studio.  Jars have been cleaned and set out on shelves, the walls have been painted, paintbrushes have been stored together in order of size and function, hot and cold water taps have been connected, the concrete floor vacuumed.

            And my desk, a large L shaped, white and so far clear space.   Its so wonderful. Before I started painting seriously, I just happened to see a tiny photo in a magazine of a woman sitting at her white desk by a window, with all her things arranged around her, drawers of shells and leaves and I immediately thought, “That’s me.  That’s what I want, a desk, a space to work properly, with my things around me.”   And I set off to find one and did.  All of this from one tiny photo I just happened to see.  I came upon the photo  much later, and it still has the same magnetic pull for me.  It reminds me of how a space can call to you to work, to create and to be on your path.

  I know now that the time I spent without a proper working space here, while it hasn’t been wasted time, because nothing is wasted on a journey, it has been a fallow time.  But the newly set up studio really feels like a spring reboot.  Its given me the space I need  to be and do, to paint and write.   

If you’re going to create, if you’re going to finally start listening to the voice within, you’re going to need somewhere to create at, somewhere to begin to pay attention to yourself.  It doesn’t need to be a big space, it can be a corner of a room, or even a cupboard, but it needs to be somewhere you can go to create.  Because once you have this space, usually a desk, all sorts of energy will coalesce around it to help you along the way.  Its as if a light comes on there and you’ll see the desk, and you’ll know.

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