The beginnings of a new year can often be the most productive and creative. There is a sense of stillness to January, no doubt heightened by the hectic festive fun of the preceding month. January offers up a 'void' that naturally makes many of us reflect, take stock and plan the year ahead, even nature itself seems to stand still. It's time to step back and eye up the blank canvas of 2014.
If your household is anything like ours then it doesn't take long to start pencilling in those outlines. The canvas I am referring to is of course your new diary - all those fresh white boxes crying out to be filled with the year's possibilities and adventures. We all tentatively map out new roots around the solid foundations that already exist whether they be work, school holidays and family occasions. These early months are precious ones, as it's these gentle seedings that can lead to the bigger picture, ensuring strength and fruitfulness. For me running Number Seven it's a time to go buying, discover new artists' work to sell in the shop, plan our events and forthcoming exhibitions, all essential to keep the shop vibrant and fresh.
It is also time for existing and new SAW members to start registering for this year's festival. Plan their year of work, what their influences may be, how their practice may evolve, what funding will support their progress, who they may team up with and setting exhibitions as deadlines is a great way to insure productivity.
Is this the year that you have promised yourself to be more creative, to grab that paint brush more firmly, ignore the fact that you will never get that ideal studio but just create regardless.
Perhaps it's time to learn a new skill to keep you fresh and up to date. Contains Art has an exciting line up of peer to peer workshops and talks lined up, funded by the Arts Council England, the first to kick off the programme is Guy Manne- Abbott. Guy is a writer, essayist and critic, his talk for Contains Art will explore his artistic journey and the lands and people that have influenced his work and will include a reading from his most recent publication concerning his experiences in Palestine. Tickets are £10 including food & a glass of wine, for further information visit their website here
Another great resource for finding out what other opportunities lie out there locally is the Creative Somerset website and their regular newsletter. It's provides a great database of creatives in Somerset and worth registering to promote your own events and exhibitions. Or if you are at the other end and enjoying being a creative voyeur or Somerset culture vulture it's an extensive listing site for art workshops, theatre productions, concerts and exhibitions.
SAW of course has some exciting plans for 2014 starting with the Hip Hawker Exhibition in Frome which opens this week. And I am looking forward to what the three artists commissioned for the new Z Twist Project produce over the next three months. Exhibitions of this project are planned for April and July.
Exciting times lie ahead. Do remember to leave some breathing space in your 2014 agenda, we all need times to relax, but most importantly time to be spontaneous and react to the creative opportunities that cross our paths.
A happy, inspiring and creative new year to you all!