For the past few years I have sought comfort in the life that I have ended up living, a nomadic existence which has seen me chase winters around the globe for the past 19 years.  I have interspersed these winter locations with periods of study and time on artist residencies.  Balancing two for want of a better word careers in the snowboard industry and art world. Both of these lives are far from careers but passions, lifestyles or compulsions.  Neither life in either world is one that I do for the sake of it but because something in me drives me too.

However over the last couple of years this identity of being nomadic has been something I have had to question.  In the past I always returned to Queenstown, New Zealand for the months of June-October and I’d somehow find a home in the Northern Hemisphere for December- April (Colorado mainly) returning to see family in the UK in the episodes between.  Since graduating in 2013 from Edinburgh College of Arts I have been on the move NZ, Greece, Chile, Armenia, West Virginia, NZ, Scotland, NZ and now Switzerland.  This rollercoaster few years and even now no real plan or certainty ahead I realise that I am less a nomad but rather I am adrift.

When i raise the concerns in my life and art practice with people in resort or on residencies its hard for them to understand the position I am in.  Reactions tend to favour one of two replies either, wow your life is so interesting it must really help your creative practice or how about you have a summer in the UK?  I believe we all have interesting lives and mine is no different its just what you decide to do with your days that can make them different.  What we don’t experience is always more interesting than our day to days.  As for having a summer (last summer being in 2001) I would be happy to have a summer or even normal seasons its just that I have no clue where.  Having lived a transient existence my idea of home has long disappeared and without an attachment to somewhere makes this idea of spending a summer hard to swallow.

My lack of posts on here have been mainly due to this fact as instead of producing I have stalled, not stuck but limited in how I proceed.  I continue to create ideas and harness an urgency to work in both worlds.  The balance of teaching and snowboarding alongside my art practice I feel is necessary.  However not knowing where I will be, or where I will be based limits production and raises many concerns with work that I create, from the logistics of sculpture whilst on residencies to the temporary existence within an art scene or community.

So at present I do not know where I am heading, I know here in Saas Fee, Switzerland I hope will be a home for at least a few seasons.  Whilst outside of these months I need to figure out how I produce and engage with other artists in a healthy way.  Realising I am not enjoying the convenience and my practice is not necessarily benefitting from this nomadic life and that the reality is that I am adrift and I need to figure out where I will reach land in the future.

  1. Caroline Conner said:

    Just read this post. No deep words of wisdom to offer, just a wish and prayer sent that until your “drifting” becomes more purposeful and fulfilling, you still find purpose and fulfillment in the drifting.

    • Cheers Caroline, i’ll keep on trucking just need to find a home resort then life will start to settle, darn visas and money. I hope you are well and keeping West Virginia good company.

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