A Studio Story - Bill Wilcox
... Last autumn we decided we'd had enough of this ever more overcrowded, noisy, congested south east and thought we'd head north to hills and open spaces.
Yes, and in preparation I started packing up the studio – no small task, believe me.
The hundreds of works on paper, canvas and board accumulated over the years were one thing, but for me, the studio was the big task. It wasn’t just the furniture (I decided to fit castors to each to make them more easily transportable) or the tools and materials (yes, I found all sorts of bits and pieces I’d forgotten I had or thought were lost). It was the fact that for me my studio is my magnum opus, my great work. My space, my haven, my sanctuary, created over the last 20 years. A work of art (even if I’m the only one to think so).
A new project then!
Boxes, bubble wrap, cling film were bought. The walls were stripped of the ‘mind map ‘ displays. A transit cage was built for the larger works. And I really got into it. Yes, it was my new project! I enjoyed it. My aim was to see the space empty as I’d first seen it all those years ago.
Oh!...or not to move?
And then we decided to stay put, and I started to unpack it all. Another project!
Not putting it all back the way it was, but an opportunity to create something new, something better. Packaging is now firmly in the palette of materials available for use. The big old easel has moved into the new storage/display space and a library created out of the old workshop. The open air pavilion now has cling film walls and door and can be used all year round. And, at least when I tidy things up, I have (a bit) more of that absolutely essential studio resource : space. (Over the course of the project I realised all too clearly that space and surfaces were the two great essentials). Oh, and I have a major new display covering the entire south wall.
So all in all...
Even though I mightn’t have produced much ‘art’ over the last few months, I’ve had fun and sort of given myself a fresh start in the same place I’ve loved for the last 20 years – no mean thing.