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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I live in Hope.

Oh ...here we go.  

I felt like a character in a gritty and slightly depressing, true to life British film.  
Gold hooped earrings and my studio jeans.  All I need is some spots, greasy hair and an anorak as I sit here chiaroscuro style, the light off.  Looking at myself from the outside sitting there being miserable, a half eaten ginger biscuit in my hand,  another bite sitting redundantly in the pocket of my cheek getting soggy. Tears rolling down my cheeks trying to be happy in my new studio wondering if my friends cared a jot about their long lost travelling friend or had got used to me being away.  Poor me.

Its lovely yeah!???

I drove here at 7-30 trying to beat the commuter crush on this grey January morning, full of enthusiasm.  
My first working day in Hope Studio.  So aptly named.  I sat down for a tea break and suddenly realised this was it,  I had moved to Manchester and I was starting again from scratch, OH WOE!  
Staring out at the City Football stadium, a torn England flag hanging sadly from a fence, the rubbish and the murky Manchester sky.    As the kettle boiled I wondered if there was anyone else in Hope.

Tears are a strange thing really, especially on your own.  
An important PROCESS.  Process is a big word in my life at the moment.  
Emotion is a sort of momentary platform that enables you to look at yourself from the outside, through the glass, nose squashed, wondering what on earth you are doing?!  
Obviously there's lots of different types of tears but I have always found crying weird, surreal, sometimes surprising but of course necessary, a bit like a weird play. 

I miss my life in Bristol, understandably I miss my friends.  
My head is sort of still on the move, like when you drive past your destination and can't find a place to turn round. 
Now don't panic... 
I AM  Absolutely BLOODY FINE!

Post adventure blues for Louiji Gardinelly's homecoming.
Transitional tears, pencilled in for late January.  Right on schedule.
Sentimentality, misery and gloom
A big inevitable Flop, missing the familiarity of my old studio, my colleagues, my lovely flat, Bristol and of course, the Stokes Croft boozers and the social scene.  A heavily slopped Manchester helping of Bristol home sickness.
FEEL IT BABY!  LET IT OUT and feel miserable.

I have come 'home' but I haven't.  
Its a new beginning but at the moment I CAN'T BE ARSED!  
I want a small dog and a nice rug and an airing cupboard.  I am too old for this.  
And of course the weather is CRAP!  Another bloody winter...  Am I seasonally screwed up? 

I sat there feeling miserable, trying to give crying some throttle but failing, I knew that I was OK and that I just needed to be patient over the next few months and that I should just swallow the biscuit. 

I have moved my whole self and all my worldly goods to a new city, one that I am not that keen on at the mo, sorry Manchester, I cant help it, maybe Lowry felt the same.  

The process of unwrapping all my materials, undoing the boxes that were packed on my last, emotional and drunken weekend of Open Studio at Jamaica Street has unravelled parts of me that I had bravely set to one side. Exploring the neatly packed boxes full of the tools of my trade, my threads, my paints, my paint brushes, bobbins, staples and masking tapes, the things that I love was meant to be exciting. 7 years of life in Bristol, associations of hard work and a busy life elsewhere.   

In the boxes had crept a few bits of JSA Fluff.  I found a book full of 'Thirdie Wirdie' studio business and meeting minutes,  a couple of notes about rent cheques or borrowed screw drivers, a couple of my friends business cards and little drawings or cartoons.  

I found a name badge of one of my friends from Open Studio and weakly put new teabags into my enamelled tin.
Familiar items placed in their same familiar drawers and well travelled boxes.  These objects with history seemed to connect different aspects of my life and all that has happened in the last year, the crazy flurry of intensive work during my last 6 months of Jamaica Street, the last Open Studio, the emotional goodbyes and hangovers, making coffee in a plastic jug, listening to music and manipulating thread, the view, the everyday walk to work, Abdul in the corner shop, lunchtime sandwiches sessions, cups of afternoon tea and staring on a Sunday afternoon at the hot air balloons drifting by, talking ART verses CRAFT, giggles with the media boys and the after work pints in the Canteen.  Oh Goddd I cant stand it!  

I plugged in my navy blue Roberts radio for a dose of Radio Four, the aerial immediately fell off and two annoying men were arguing about working class humour.  I noted the drip of watery snot on the end of my nose about to drop into my tea and reluctantly smiled.

So of course, these boxes patiently gathered dust whilst the US, New Zealand, Australia,  Thailand, India, the adventures, the stories, the ladies, the spontaneity, happened.  Personal creativity was re-invented, my redundant materials and books got damp and I didn't care. The wonderful unknown …. living out of a suitcase for 6 months, no home, just me. 
And now here, a new static place of work, a new city, a new industrial view, greyness and rain. I feel like Julie Walters in a heart wrenching scene about an embroideress who had zig zagged herself into a canvas and eaten by her own cats.  
Life's a funny old game.  

Some things needed to change… who knows what will happen tomorrow.   

I live in Hope … and its warm and lovely.

Time to get the machine out and give it a whirl. Its been a while. Lets get on with it and make some things.  Its was never going to be easy you fool Louiji.  Sometimes the best things in life aren't free.

And of course, it's SUPERSTITCHERS soon.
My plan of gloom attack begins.

Lou Le Boohoo Femme Fatal.

1 comment:

  1. Ahh Lou

    Cheer up duck, you will be fine, you have soooo much talent, and you are such a lovely, funny lady, i'm sure you will feel differently soon, especially when the sun shines over the football pitch or canal or whatever it is, and that torn England flag is flying!

    Regardinelies oh its catching!



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