This has been quite a week! I don’t think I’ve felt so tired in years. Monday and Tuesday were spent learning new software – Final Cut Pro and Flash animation so that I can start work on my film, my chosen outcome for the residency project. Whether or not I need my head examined about this remains to be seen but there is a lot to take in. I suspect that it will prove to be like work with other computer programmes and that it will only really make sense once I have started to use it. This is just familiarisation really and I can’t expect to achieve much at first.
I want to start running before I can walk as usual and am probably being irredeemably over ambitious, I need to remind myself that it is the process which is important here and the recording and observation which goes with it. Hold the big ideas.
The Print Studio is easy enough for me to access, or at least the computers are. Surprisingly I like the fact that they are now in the main body of the Studio rather than in the pokey wee side room which they used to inhabit. I am not concerned about working on public view, a bit of a turn up as I’m usually one to metaphorically at least, put my arm around my work. Having people around engaged on their own projects has proved stimulating rather than distracting – a good thing.
I’m beginning to clarify my ideas about the proposed film at least. I got an email from a friend at the weekend with a link to an obituary in the New York Times for the American animator and painter Robert Breer. We had met Bob when he was artist in residence at the Arts Centre in Cardiff where we both worked in the 1980s. A nice man and a pioneering artist animator. Revisiting his films on You Tube reminded me of where my own ambition to make animations began and they surprised me anew with their freshness and creativity. They are films with which I feel a kinship . Many of them use such a range of techniques – drawing, painting, stills and live action sequences combined to create a new reality. Their real revelation – a timely lesson for myself is their deliberate rejection of narrative. Images don’t necessarily flow, they appear and disappear, develop and decay but most of all they just move.
So progress I feel, is definitely being made. I’m thinking about my film and I am trying to look at the building with new eyes. Soon I will have the wherewithal to make photographic notes to feed in here. I don’t think describing a litany of flaws is what I want to do with my Access Audit, I don’t want it to sound like an endless gripe – a rather negative impression of disability and disabled people. I want rather to point up issues as they arise and post the evidence as it occurs, day by day.
Nevertheless, in the absence of my instant camera I have been trying to think of a colourful way to describe being shut in the lift with the kitchen trolly – twice in one day this week, but it just isn’t happening. It feels unfair to people who have no other way to do their job and the young man who shifted up to make room for me and my chair was pleasant and chatty. I do wonder though what sort of impression a visiting wheelchair user would form of a place where you are expected to either miss the lift or to ride with the empties !