Colette West – England

Colette West uses mixed media to mark thoughts; collect impressions and inspirations as they occur in daily life: to note ideas, memories and myths as she encounters them; and to fantasise on possibilities that emanate from combining these elements. She thinks of Paul Klees’ expression “taking a line for a walk” and consider that this is her own version of that. At times, in the process she may be seduced by chance marks made by materials, at others times, a word, or visual note may generate associations internally that are too fleeting and various to express. This method serves as a vehicle to dream. At times, she questions whether this pleasure in dreaming has value in itself or whether she could challenge herself to explore how she may develop it into a more substantial and communicated work. It is the latter that she would like to try while on the residency. She may find that she continues to mark her ‘journey’ on reams of paper, or that she condenses what is inspiring her onto a single page in journal form. However, she will also be using the studio to ‘play’ and consider how she can express ideas in various forms.

Colette’s concern so far has been to just generate material, after a hiatus from practising as an artist. She is endeavouring to be open to what occurs without judgement. For example, she may not like the degree of romanticism that can arise – she has found that roses, bees, fairy tales and the willow from the view outside her window persist in presenting themselves. But for now she is ‘watching’ and permitting any content with a view to learning about herself and also to follow the potential direction it may be led to. She has not yet had the time or circumstance to extend beyond these ‘notes’, so will value the opportunity to explore further in unprescribed time on the residency. She is looking forward to interspersing studio experience with walks in the surrounding nature. These may well influence content in the studio – though given her aspiration to keep open to her responses she will not pre-determine this.

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