Process: A mixture of creativity and chaos – Part 1

This week is something quite different. I’m going to discuss a creative project that I’m working on at the moment. I’ve been planning to share my process on the blog, but kept putting it off – however, I think this is the ideal moment.

One of the projects I’m working on is titled, ‘At the Horizon’ (ATH). It’s an installation for a gallery in Auckland. However, with the lock-down due to covid-19, I’m not sure if it will be going ahead or not. However, I’m keeping-on. For one thing, I need some creative outlets to work on during this time, and also, I’ve got a momentum going for the work, so I need to carry that energy through.

The work is about my mother, myself and my daughter.

My ideas initially formed on this topic in 2016, and I filmed my mother sharing some of her childhood memories. At that stage I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the footage, and if perhaps it was only for the family. But I kept coming back to the interview and re-watching it, thinking about my mum and how her memories had somehow become my own, not as if I had experienced them, but rather I had experienced her re-telling – it was part of my childhood. I have my own imaginary place and characters, for her stories.

This idea began to develop into a question around, how I experience others experiences of life, especially my mother, and then later on my daughter.

Nothing I tried to create at the beginning of the process was coherent, I tried a number of times to edit the footage into something, but it just wasn’t working. Then in 2018 I had a chance to travel with my daughter to China and during that time I took a lot of photos and footage.

What has happened since that time travelling is a collecting process, new footage, old footage of my mother when she was young, footage of my daughter as a child, footage of my daughter now, all intertwined with a constant unpacking of what it is to have these relationships.

I slowly formed the project towards nine short films, of different lengths, that work separately on their own, but also collectively strengthen each other, as an interconnection. Much like the relationship I have with my mother and daughter.

The work is a collage, that will work interactively on the internet. This work is still completely in process, not one of the nine films are completed, at the moment they are all in production, (at different stages). I have been lucky enough to have Claire Duncan working as sound designer, and I have also roped my partner, Grant, into doing the coding for the interaction and web-site, which the work will be housed in.

I just want to say that creatively, this process has been very messy, there has been a lot of up and downs, a lot of dead ends. And that is OK. When I thought I was onto something, it often turned on its head and I had to start the process again. Creating 9 short films that interrelate yet hold a distinct quality… is harder than I thought.

But now I’m at the end stages, most filming is complete, most image collection and montage work is done and I can start to see the creativity through the process.

Whatever you are doing, striving for, trying to create – trust yourself. Trust the process. Trust the chaos, the messy bits. It’s OK. You are exactly where you are meant to be.

I’m going to bring you more about this work later in the year, maybe even a few clips to entice you into watching the finished piece…(when it’s done). Haha.

Catch you next week xx.

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