‘ways to hold your own hand’
rosie mills eckmire
holly elan watson
we are sitting in living rooms across england, six strangers connected by a virtual string. we are artists, not by trade or by choice but by birth.
larissa loy shows her drawings – emotive life drawings, layered up with tracing paper echoing the tracing of the figures’ body on the page with the pencil.
> can a woman reclaim the male gaze – why is depicting the female figure taken to be inherently sexist?
> what is ‘too niche’? does everyone have to relate to your art for it to be Art?
holly elan watson shows her colourful watercolours. laden with significance. we speak of the politics of loneliness, how the depiction of intimate moments is just as meaningful as large political statements. we speak of ways to hold your own hand, ways to reflect tenderness and intimacy even in times of isolation.
> what do we lose and gain from art school, how does it affect our motivation and our practice?
> how can we improve in our confidence and our inner validation, and how does this affect our making?
mandy wax tells us of ‘the last six months and how lost i’ve been’ – a familiar feeling among all who have lived through the uNpReCeDeNtEd TiMeS we’ve been living in. her practice weaves together many threads, sometimes literally, and my experience of it is hinged on a single quote – ‘as large as alone’, an excerpt of a poem by e e cummings. again i think of loneliness, how we are connected to strangers through their creations, how i have always been drawn to art by lonely people. like the most important parts of myself are shared not with even my closest companions but poets and painters i’ll never meet.
> what’s the difference between mindless and mindful activity? which is more important to an artist?
> why does no one talk about how much rejection we face as artists? how can we cope with it?
i am sitting on my sofa on another gloomy afternoon, watching summer turn to autumn outside the big bay window. i am drinking a whole cafetiere of coffee as i always do, it gets cold halfway through so i microwave it, and then repeat, if i had someone to share it with perhaps i wouldn’t be so jittery in the afternoon. today i’m not so jittery, i am contemplating human connection and personal ritual, and i look down and i see my hands one on top of the other, fingers wrapped around palms, and i don’t feel lonely. i have my own hand to hold.