This morning I was starting to feel like I was plunging into a bit of a black hole with this piece – I don’t have terribly long in which to write it and I just couldn’t feel my way. Coupled with the house feeling like it was overfilled with people and that I didn’t have any space in my own head and things were looking pretty bleak. So I packed up my sketchbook and copy of Rothko’s book The Artist’s Reality and took myself off to the Tate. En route I picked up a restorative bar of Green & Black’s white chocolate and a copy of Jamie magazine (cooking magazines always make me feel better) and cranked up the John Adams on my iPod and the resuscitation of my soul was nearly complete before I even got to St Paul’s.
As I walked down to the Tate Modern – through St Paul’s churchyard and over the Millennium Bridge – I thought about the slim collection of ideas I’d been half-heartedly kicking about for the past few days. I noticed some of the detail in the stonework on St Paul’s – decorative curls like leaves wrapping around something – and suddenly it all started to fall into place – from the thickets of the Cy Twombly Dionesian paintings I saw at the Tate on Sunday through ideas of enclosure, safety and security to claustrophobia and oppression, it all started to come together at last. Of course, it’s still got a long way to go and I haven’t even got notes on paper yet, but at last I have a direction to go in!