Another stick to beat myself up with…
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Another stick to beat myself up with…

Blog post three of four about the medals I have currently showing in ‘Regroup, reflect, regenerate’ at the Pah Homestead in Auckland, NZ until 20th September 2015 http://www.tsbbankwallaceartscentre.org.nz/exhibitions/

Like ‘Lifted’, the medal described in the last blog post of this series, this medal ‘Another stick to beat yourself up with’ was made in response to a particular personal situation, but is also something for which probably quite a few of you can relate.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know I’m someone who always has a fair few things on the go. Always.

I do a lot, I learn a lot, I push myself and I guess I like it that way. But it is a careful balancing act, and every now and then, for one reason or another, the balance gets screwed up. I can find myself spread too thin, doing everything at 20% and it stops being fun or fulfilling. Guilt, at not being able to do everything to the level I want, takes over.

Late last year, this is exactly what happened. On top of the usual plethora of commitments, I decided to sign myself up for a yoga class. I paid in advance (to ensure my own commitment to attendance) and booked myself into a class early enough in the evening to allow me time to get home and work on my other projects. Sounds good in theory.

In practice, I was arriving at yoga rushed and stressed and after a couple of occasions of not making it there on time for various reasons, I felt guilty for wasting my own money and failing myself on the exercise front.

Anyway, I managed to rush myself there one day and as I clumsily huffed and puffed my way through ‘sun salutations’, whilst feeling crap about myself and glaring with tainted envy across at the girl I’d nicknamed ‘Gazelle’ for her impossibly graceful ability, I suddenly thought “Jesus, I am actually using yoga as a stick to beat myself up with, why the hell am I doing this to myself?!”

I went home, got out some wax and within an hour had made the stick shaped medal, engraved ‘Another Stick to Beat Yourself Up With’.

Making the medal provided some much needed, light hearted relief and after my epiphany, I reconfigured my commitments.

But this probably won’t be the last stick I make. Not because I’m a slow learner (well maybe a bit) but because in taking up opportunities that come my way and always working on new projects, I derive great ┬ábenefit and satisfaction, so I don’t really want to do anything differently! I know the risk in being this way is that sometimes the commitments will prove to be too much or other life stuff will crop up and I’ll feel like I’m letting myself, or someone else down.

And if that happens, I will make myself another stick and re-reconfigure my commitments.

Think this could be the beginning of an interesting body of work…

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I am a sculptor, hailing from West Auckland, New Zealand and now reside in London. My main sculptural mediums are ceramics and art medals.