Nessie is released!

I was working with the sculpture classes today on a project they’ve been developing over many weeks. The Loch Ness Monster has been recreated in halved-tyres, water cut-outs and a magnificent head created from mixed media. The effect is stunning and totally mobile, as each of the individual parts can be picked up and moved. Our first task today was to walk around the Touchbase building and find different places to set up Nessie. This exploration of space was great fun, especially as I got to see parts of the building I’d never seen before. To be honest, Nessie looked great everywhere, but it was interesting to see how the change in place affected Nessie. In the cafe, the blue patch by the counter became Nessie’s Loch, whereas when we used the corridors by the offices upstairs there was a comic element to a brightly painted monster swimming through a sensible, plain-colored work space.

We also painted the paper-mache heads we’d made last week. All this work is aiming towards an open arts event at Touchbase in a fortnight’s time, I can’t wait to see what happens in all the different art forms taking place at sense.

In the afternoon  I worked with a larger group, where we focused on the people-sculpture that will accompany Nessie. We had quite a few photos taken (let’s hope I managed to get most of the paint out of my hair!) in different places around the building. We then got to work on making some hair ready for next week when we assemble the people in their entirety.

I felt my shyness and self-consciousness nibbling it’s way through during the day. There were two other assistance helping the sculpture tutor today, and I was very aware that they were most likely more experienced and qualified than I was. I felt a bit awkward during the second session, where there were so many people in the room I wasn’t sure what to do that would help rather than hinder.

The presence of my own impairment, depression, is something that I have been ignoring for a fair while. As I’ve been having a good time with my mood recently, the temptation is always to forget that it’s there, to think you’re cured, or to forget you ever had it in the first place. It’s only when you trip into a gaping depressive chasm for 3 days that you are forced to remember it’s there. It’s unbelievably frustrating!

I have been thinking about my identity as far as disability is concerned, wondering whether I identify as disabled, and whether someone who isn’t disabled has the right to be writing a blog about disability. How can you put forth opinion about something you have no experience of? These are questions that continue to nag at me during my placement


2 thoughts on “Nessie is released!

  1. The areas you are exploring Bel are fantastic. Keep looking at your position as ‘disabled/non-disabled’ artist. Have a look at the work of James Leadbitter- The Vacume Cleaner. He recently has began to identify as disabled- I think you may find him interesting.

    Regardless of your own identification you can blog on anything you like as long as you back it up -which you are doing really well.

    1. Thanks for this feedback – I’ve taken this as my exploration post for this week looking at how different people identify as disabled or not. It’s been very informative, and also reassuring that other people experience the same worries over labels and definitions as I do. I want to write a second post on the topic of my depression and how it affects my art practice – I’ve discovered the concept of the ‘Diagnostic gaze’ which I find very relevant

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