Art for Free - Shannon Gibbs

At the end of last year I put it out there to the Universe that I was in need of a cheap studio space for my art. When friends inquired how cheap was cheap, I flippantly said that free would be good! And low and behold, not long after I found myself sitting at a desk, staring out to the river at my new and amazing FREE studio courtesy of Juggelrs art space and very obliging universe.

Now, as my six weeks at this studio space draws to an end, I think back to the day that I saw that spectacular shed – the place that would become my studio and refuge. As it loomed in all its bizarre and isolated beauty, it promised so much. And it has delivered even more.

As I entered that huge, beckoning space, with its history and its creaks and groans I felt and overwhelming sense of being exactly where I was meant to be and being gifted an awesome opportunity. Space and time to myself are a rarity in my life and in my home.

Initially I was thrilled with my new space and I felt just a touch smug to move my paints and blank canvases into my little corner of paradise. But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. What I discovered was an enormous amount of internal chatter, most of it decidedly unhelpful and distracting, that I was not at all prepared for. There have been days in my space that have challenged me to the core of what I am doing and why? I was ambushed by an existential crisis when faced with real space and uninterrupted time to pursue the thing that I know I love, the thing that makes me feel more like me than anything else.

So I had to remind myself to just paint rather than think and I’m glad I did.

This space has gifted me an enormous freedom and inspiration. It has forced a showdown between an urge to create and my artistic anxiety. Out of this has come a new body of work born out of the luxury of uninterrupted time and staying put. I am grateful for this opportunity and now have a aesthetic direction I am excited and content to pursue.