• Sarah McCartney

intermission

Updated: Aug 19



They call it 'intermission'.

Corvid -19 came in March. We had our last real group crit on Tuesday 17th. Mat and Steve said whoever wanted to or could, should take the MA studio printing presses. We didn't know everything would shut that week but we knew it was coming so I took them both. One for me and one for Kate M. We assumed we could rearrange things later but the important thing was to get them out before it was too late. That same day I took home the bureau I was working on in the workshops. I would be back to being a solitary artist and would have to bodge it as best I could in my workshop with no machines or technical support, but it was important to get it home.


The university shut down 19th March, everything started operating online. Pubs closed 20th March, spring equinox. We retreated into our safe places to live an increasingly locked down life. I set up the press in my studio and started mono printing. For two days I immersed myself in printing feeling excited by this beautiful silver lining within the changed structure of the MA. I'd been intending to get into the print room since I started but still hadn't and probably wouldn't have because of my illogical fear of workshops and shared work spaces. Suddenly with a press in my own studio I got deep into it. With no one to see me bodge or do things wrong, no one to have to ask permission of, no one to distract or feel I am in the way of, no time restraints or health and safety rules, free to experiment and forced into trusting my own ability. Of course there is no one to advise or laugh with but I'm used to being alone.



It all seemed good. I could manage, I could carry on with my MA in this new form. But over the weeks I became increasingly anxious and struggled with the online 'everything'. Print workshops are not my only illogical phobia it seems. Other demands were being made on my time because of the pandemic and I found I was not able to give my practice the focus and attention I wanted to give it. I felt I was compromising with everything and that I had to decide what was most important at this particular moment in time.


Falmouth is my home, I have a secure place to live with enough space to work and I have time. I chose to slow down, be in the world as it is now and help where I am needed. This has meant me stopping my MA at this point to start again next year. I will not stop working on my practice or researching for my final essay but without the looming deadlines I feel I can manage everything. I'm grateful to everyone who has supported me in this decision.


This blog will be one of the ways I keep the threads of my practice together and share what I am doing with everyone.







 

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