Work Space/Head Space


Working as an artist makes for an interesting life. Mostly this is because it is essential to be a little porous, open to triggers and clues that more sensible activities would filter out.

Studio spaces are often intriguing. It is a myth that all artists work in a frenzy of chaotic creativity. I like a tidy space, with lots of room to move around freely. My process is fairly analytical, interspersed with bouts of warm, fuzzy highs and loud music. There are also the anaesthetised lows and that is what the armchair in the sunny corner is for. My studio needs to be the space that accommodates all of this. It must also be a room that responds well to both music and silence.

When I was a teenager, after years of sharing a bedroom, I inherited a large, quiet room of my own. It had cool blue walls, plush blue carpeting and an air conditioner (this was Durban). During the tedious school day I carried the sanctuary of my blue room around with me. When I got home, I would retreat and draw, with the air conditioner pouring icy, blue air over me. This was the first time that I associated a space with a feeling. My current studio space is important to my work process. It is the place where I translate the raw material gathered from the outside world. Most artists have such a space and associated rituals - a place where head and heart meet.