in absentia and fear

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Leatherhead

Leatherhead, gilded, leather and gold leaf.

Decided to have an opening of my exhibition 'in absentia', the 2300 km trip from where I am to where it is held is at this moment in time impossible.

Strange feeling, like sending your children to boarding school.

I am at this moment putting a port folio together for Cairns.

So I was going through my life's work and so many memories come flying back.

When I came back to Holland after The Azores I felt a little afraid. I had my house/studio on the top floor of a huge building in the old part of The Hague, adjoining the famous Mesdag Museum.

But my fears of living in a city and a little nervous at night made me think:: if I make the most scary things imaginable, like dead bodies, surely my scaredness would go. I was maybe 25. I remember working on a body, I molded it with clay and then wrapped it in a hard canvas impregnated with a kind of plastic that, when dipped in acetone became a bit like a shammy. Malleable.
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One day I was working away and my 7 year old daughter sat talking to me while she was calmly sitting on another 'dead body' I was making. She had seen me built the clay into the figure and thus had no fear or amazement whatsoever. So fear is an imagined emotion. Then of course I got carried away and was having the fun befitting my profession. And the next step is to beautify the sculptures. Attached a 'dead head', leather with gold leaf. Moral of this story is: I can make something horrible look pretty but now, today, I am still a little afraid in an unknown house on my own. The spooks haven't left me. Well, it keeps me looking for the company of my fellows.

I don't think I am very capable on my own.

And I am not!