There’s Always a First

Think I Might Give in If Nothing Stops the Wind, glue and inks, 2019

We’ve all been through something during lockdown. As if we had needed this general stop to have a better look at our lives and ourselves. How do we live?, what do we do with life? Are we happy the way we live? Are we becoming this someone to be proud of, this person I would happily live with?

I don’t think these questions were new to me, but to address them directly became more necessary. Passed the first week of quarantine and its many issues relating what to do when stuck at home (should I bring my whole studio and do as before, just from a different container?), it got clearer that I could not simply continue. My hand-made creations bore very little weight next to the awful stories I was reported from Italy or France where my family lives. Feeling rather helpless for the society, I understood that creating could already save me in this awkward period, and who knows maybe forever. 

I decided to focus on what could make me happy, meaning very happy. For the last few years, I often had dreams with a guitar inside: either it was just standing in a corner, or I had one on my laps that I was trying to put the strings back together. Years of psychoanalysis can on occasions lead to an over-complicated interpretation of dreams and symbolisation: until then, the guitar for me represented ‘Art’, being a plastic artist, it was logical. But maybe there was something much more simple to understand. I always wanted to make music, I loved guitars (I consistently had one, if not two as decoration objects in the many apartments I lived in). Yes, I dream of guitars because my dream is to play the guitar. It was just about the right time to act on dreams.

Weeks of guitar classes online brought me to a level where I can play songs, even complicated ones. Learning is such an energy supplier, the adrenaline I get from achieving something that was surely way over my league only a few weeks ago, makes it even more worthwhile. I wonder, how come in our adult life, we forget to be kids? why don’t we start from scratch sometimes? Especially when things seem stuck. 

Yes, I felt slightly stuck in my art studio lately, not to the point of not doing on the contrary, but in a place where the pieces I make aren’t yet what they will be, neither do I envision the links between them, nor where I would like to see them: in a gallery? A museum? At an art collector’s? The question around the necessity of being exposed as an artist crosses my mind again, does it still make sense to me today knowing that I have changed and I am still changing? If not showing in the traditionally manner and format of an exhibition, then how? And where? In addition, now that I started to write songs and be passionate about music, where could I fit all of this? 

Twenty-twenty is a bizarre year, it’s confusing, it’s hard, insecure, especially working in the cultural field, we could be disillusioned for real. I told myself it was the best time to try to be braver than I ever was and to welcome changes. 

I am starting with writing a blog about it. 

Love, Ethel 

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