On Anniversaries and New Beginnings
Everything is fine
O, mine heart’s gleam! I runneth through plush fields of velvet posies, speckled black and blue, and come to you below thy Winter sun, sparkling-bright. It has been a while and I have missed you. Much has transpired since my last letter to you, darling dear, and I do not know where best to begin. Head still slightly thick with fog, I glance beneath black lashes to golden light flooding softly through dusted glass. I feel, still, melancholia - white flashes of that fateful eve.
The Ninth of January, just before Seven p.m.
A year passes far too quickly, knife to the heart, to-the-heart-hard, but embedded within that frosted fatigue lies a strange kind of nostalgia for what once was. I could sit here, now, with you, heat festering from bubbling tea leaves, pink silk curtains drawn in a darkened room, and lament on those Studio System starlets, Hollywood’s underbelly soaked in blood diamonds and pearls - putrefied - but all I wish is to tell you how I feel. I smile and I atrophy.
Laurel Near as the Lady in the Radiator in Eraserhead (1977) dir. David Lynch.
Soft Summer evenings beneath honey-laden skies were so long ago, that I had almost forgotten how it feels to see sunlight before me. As I sit and write with ink-stained palms, reader, I want to cry. No, no, no gushing red-hot tears of swelling rage, but a soft release for how far I have come. An apple slips from the branch and lands with a bruising thud. There is much I wish to do this year, and time still remains unnervingly short. I need, baby-angel: to paint, to write, to dance, to kiss, to gorge at fruit, to rest, to live, freely.
There is a heart of gold wrapped around my neck, and I seldom remove it. When love is lost, stood within that parlour, a woman with pity will hand you a glossy catalogue. Within it, you shalt receive the means to take the weight of their body and bones, to grind them into sand and stone and compress thine corpse into a diamond, shiny and new. I could not help but think of what He might think, whether He would know and feel and hurt, whether that diamond could withhold consciousness, memory.
I cry as I write.
I ponder upon the fate of that diamond when I die. If I were to pass it down to mine daughter, if it were to lay in a chest, in a closet, in an attic for decades, to end up in a car-boot sale, moons later, origin unknown. For a stranger to find it at their feet amongst rocks and rainwater, and walk around with mine Father in their palm.
Ingrid Pitt in The Wicker Man (1972) dir. Robin Hardy.
If I pry with Barbie-pink fingernails, I can break mine golden heart in two. Within it, lies a space for two very small heart-shaped photographs. When we sat in disbelief on the Ninth, photographs never-once-seen-before laid out atop the living room rug, between glassy tears I saw a string of light. Another life, dreams, before us. A childhood in hand-me-down Levi’s, singing Heart of Gold. It has taken a year, dear reader, but I am ready to choose my photographs.
I am working again, too, slowly – ever so slowly, skulking back into that muddy abyss. I speak aloud and see mine breath before me. As you may remember, lover, my aim for this year is still to create ‘a painting a month, for the next twelve months.’ That phrase, of course, is ringing in mine ears loud as silver bells, babe, and I feel may bite my behind. I am currently working on a triptych, a work of two. Five-foot-tall, bloody red oil dispersing with resentment into suede.
She shalt read, with fervent anger:
I have neglected to mention, babe, that amidst mine painting and writing, I am setting in stone plans to build a press, to physically publish my work, forever. Tentative Press, will be, I hope, a space to independently release artist books, print editions and ephemera at will, for me and for you. Truthfully, I have been pondering upon, over many months now, ways in which to divest my artistic practice away from any sole dependence on one finite black hole. I wish, sincerely, to have control and ownership over the work that I produce, and how that work is birthed into the world.
Tentative Press will not be overnight, but rather, in months to come.
Isabelle Adjani as Anna / Helen in Possession (1981) dir. Andrzej Żuławski.
Amongst the rubble, mud-ridden limestone and moss, I wield a portal for you. A portal, a lake, an oak door to share artwork. I am developing, with careful hands, a Patreon page to divulge my practice - bare bones and all - in explicit detail. I am thinking, with intensity, of how this year I can foster a space for my practice to become a self-sustaining eco-system to support myself. All I wish, and have wished for some time, is for my painting, my writing, to work in tandem with my studio space.
I am trying, babe, to break out from the soil and live.
I hope to realise this portal in March, to mark the one-year anniversary of Emotional Outbursts, and with that I wish to gift you a limited physical publication, bound tight in silk ribbon: Outbursts, Year One. Through supporting my practice, here and now, love, I shall offer up to you with open arms: tutorials, virtual studio visits, early access to writing and artwork and poetry, amongst physical ephemera flung straight to your door at every full moon.
Last year, without a doubt, was one of the most challenging years of my life. Now, for the first time in a long while I look ahead with patience, hope, and a renewed fire within my belly. I have no choice but to keep going.