the divided self


It’s been a hard six weeks or so. Just finished two very labour-intensive drawings for a group exhibition. Or at least I think they’re finished – a couple of days looking and thinking should decide it.

The show is called In the Mirror, at Brenda May Gallery in Sydney, from 27 March to 14 April.

This is the first major project I’ve undertaken since starting full-time work last September, in fact I had vowed not to take on board anything of this sort precisely to prevent the kind of stress I’ve just been under.  Dragging myself out of bed at 5am to do a couple of hours in the studio before waking my daughter and getting us both out of the door by 8am. Then straight back up there at the end of a long working day (thankfully my partner cooks most nights). Bed at 10pm because I’ve never been a night owl and I simply can’t stay up late if I’m rising early.  It’s no surprise I feel like crap as I’ve stopped going to the gym and walking the dog (she still goes out with aforementioned partner) and to top it all off, I’ve been indulging in some serious comfort eating. Must have put on a good few kilos, but the bathroom scales broke a few months back and it’s probably best for the self-esteem that I don’t exactly know. And that’s not my only complaint. My back, neck and shoulders ache from the repetitive pencil rendering and I’ve definitely got a bit of RSI in the wrist. I so wish I’d taught myself to draw with my left hand when I was young and more adaptable, because it just seems too difficult now.

Still, there have been pleasures too. Long hours with Radio National, a couple of audio books and plenty of music. I’m lucky to have a large and diverse CD collection to keep me going, but I’m always keen to have new things to listen to as well. The Lion’s Roar by First Aid Kit has been on high rotation, and there’s a line from their song To a Poet that keeps running around in my head: “There’s nothing more to it, I just get through it.”

And I have. Hooray.