I Need a Studio/ The Outmoded Myth of the Struggling Artist in Their Garrett

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” 
― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

I watched Matthew Collings series This is Modern Art series about six months ago and what sits with me still is that he talked about the outmoded notion of the struggling artist in their garret that pervaded modernism now with postmodernism the artist role in society is multi-faceted. As when I was at art school, I told my sculpture lecturer that I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to become a visual artist or writer.

However, many years later I pursue both perhaps with limited success and perhaps I should focus on one discipline if I want to be successful as a creative individual.

However, I have realised I need an office to write at and a large studio to make objects, installations, and large-scale drawings. The only time I have had a chance to make large scale works since art school in the late nineties was when I did studio residencies.

I have done six studio residencies one in Sydney at the Gunnery in Woolloomooloo, one on Flinders Island in Tasmania and four at the Big Ci in Bilpin in the Blue Mountains. This year I am doing another month-long residency later in the year after a solo show at Scratch Art Space in Marrickville and then a show at Mothership in Brooklyn New York in early 2024. My first international residency

There are two reasons that I like residency’s: first because I get to make large scale works on paper, sculpture, and installation and secondly because I get to meet other interesting international creatives and in the case of the Big Ci from all over the planet.

For the past twenty-five years most of the art I have made was made like I am now just sitting on my bed plugging away on my computer and making dozens of small drawings and drawings to be made into artist books. I have made over thirty books. In the case of My Top Twenty-Five Intellectual Heroes book, I donated it to the wealthy astute art collector from Sydney John Kaldor and he bought some of my other drawings of him and his family.

I have been saving for my own home to own over the past 12 years and shall get an inheritance from the sale of my late mother’s home. I feel I need a studio space wherever I buy. I also want to live close to a beach preferably on the NSW north coast in walking or bike ride distance from the beach as I don’t drive, and it would allow me to continue my two hours beach walking a day which is central to my creative process.

“The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments, but the process is never-ending. So, an exhibition is not a conclusion.”  Chris Ofili