On being, ‘The Sculptor’s Wife’ (Part I)

A few months ago I was at an exhibition with my father  and we met  a lady, she was the artist’s wife but when I told her that I wrote a blog called ‘The Sculptor’s wife’ she was disappointed in not asserting myself as an individual other than being attached to someone else. She said she always introduced herself by her name rather than ‘the artist’s wife’.  Anyway, ‘The Sculptor’s Wife’ had a good ring to it when I named by blog and it gave me a definite purpose and direction to the blog. Otherwise I may be waffling even more so than I am already. I have titled this entry (Part I) as I feel I could write on this topic in much more depth and I have been working on this for a few days now and have the need to click the ‘publish’ button…

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‘A sketch’

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between living with the Sculptor, the artist or the Egyptian, or just simply maleness. What I mean is, I hear other woman talk about lives at home and I think, ‘oh that doesn’t just happen in our house then!’. So what are the unique things about living with a sculptor?

I came home the other day to a pretty foul smell in the kitchen, the back door open so it was freezing in the house and my Wellington boots were involved in some strange procedure. So I am now ‘welly’ less! Which on the positive side means I get to buy a new pair and that my sturdy old rowing wellies get immortalised in the next piece of art work. The backyard had become the make shift studio and the wellies were being filled with a hairy fabric which is scattered over the paving slabs and occasionally getting dragged back inside. From what I could see through the window the glass fibres were stuffed into the wellington boot and then a kind of liquid resin was poured in. The process of Fibre glass. Once it had hardened there was some sawing and sanding going on. To which our toddler said he didn’t like the noise that Baba was making. It’s not the first time something of mine has been used in a project. The umbrella used in ‘Shelter’ was a very smart designer umbrella my husband had bought me in Denmark, but after several purchases of umbrella’s and stripping them of the fabric. Mine apparently was the perfect shape!

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‘The Welly’

Living with a sculptor is unconventional. For a start there is no 9-5 or fixed working hours and I am very aware that my husband lives in the ‘present’ when I first met him think I was often preoccupied with worrying about the past or anxious about the future and it has been great for me to be with someone who is very focused in the here and now. Although now with children I think the fact that I do plan a little is helpful. The need for an artist to be ‘I the present’ I feel is a lot to do with observation and being open to what is happening in the moment giving rise to inspiration. He is by nature a rule breaker so anything that would be seen to be ‘normal’ is abnormal. Like Dali, he believes he is from a different egg. Perhaps all artists are?

He is definitely complex and my husband is just that, people are but artists do seem to be on more of a roller coaster, an extra layer of. There is constantly ideas spinning around in the air, ideas for next sculptures and projects and dreams. There are constant ups and downs in self belief. He won’t ever stop working, drawing and making. An artist doesn’t really have time off. It is a way of life. I have visions of what it will be like when he can be a full-time artist and not juggling our own business too. At the moment, the juggling of business and the art world means he is working none stop, not that I think that will change much if he was only sculpting but he would be a little bit more relaxed!

I don’t understand why people have a problem with ‘being a wife’. There is a saying behind every great man is a great woman’. I guess there could be the argument that you shouldn’t be behind. I don’t feel that. I feel at his side. I am not so much the ‘muse’ but the ‘voice’. Little bit ironic as my voice is not strong but I am the voice of the sculptor. So it feels a definite ‘we’ and ‘us’ working towards the dream most of the time!

We are currently waiting for March 6th …two days time…eek, when the interviews for the public Art award will be held. The anxiety means we have been having daily conversations about the maquette, the idea, whether there is a chance of him winning and what it would do for his career. The waiting has been almost excruciating, I just hope we are not putting too much emphasis on this award and that all the hard work will have paid off. We just need to stay hopeful and pray that Wednesday will bring good news.

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