Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Messy Tuesdays and the House of Doom

I knew I had a moth problem. I just didn't know how bad it was.

Yesterday as I was crawling around my studio on my hands and knees hammering the bejaysus out of moth babies, the thought did occur that this might not be such a great activity for the mangled neck. But that didn't stop me. Looking around the studio it became obvious that the hotbed of moth activity was a large box of fleece I had left on top of the shelves some two years back...now filled with thousands upon thousands of moth babies, aka larvae, eating up my wool. Bastards.
As a result I am faced with the momentous task of going through the entire contents of my studio (which is immense - the contents that is, not the studio) clearing out all the moths, moth babies & moth excrement, washing all the fabric I own, freezing all the skins, taxidermy, artworks etc, and then placing everything that's left in moth-proof storage.
As a result the studio is in complete disarray.

I had been planning a giant clear-out of the studio but this brought into ridiculously sharp focus just how ludicrous my hoarding is. A mixture of inherited wartime mentality and environmentally conscious not-wanting-to-add-more-stuff-to-landfill meant I have kept everything that could ever possibly be useful, and much much more, just in case, one day, its exactly what I need. Which I have to say does happen. But more often I don't even know I had stuff because I can't see it behind all the other shit.

Regarding the wartime/poverty mentality, I have decided to stop thinking there will not be enough money to buy art materials for workshops, projects, etc and budget better. I want to get rid of the struggling artist mentality and trust the money will be there to get the things I need to make the work/ do the workshops.

Regarding my dislike of adding to landfill, it occurred to me I am creating MY VERY OWN LANDFILL, in my house. The stuff is junk! It can sit on my shelves for the next however many years, slowly rotting or being destroyed my moths/damp/whatever, only to be finally thrown in the bin by the next generation when I am dead. Or I can save them the hassle and do it now.
How powerful is the environmental guilt though! Its not as if I even bought most of this stuff new - there is fabric from recycled clothes, wool from charity shops & scrap stores, wood from skips, yet still I feel awful about adding it to landfill.
But realising that it IS actually junk, and I am either adding to public landfill (or more likely it is shipped to China or somewhere) or I am creating landfill in my own home, was quite liberating.
The gargantuan task of cleaning it all up and throwing loads of crap out is also liberating, but also incredibly manky.


A very small sample of moth babies there.

In other news, the house has also been a complete mess due to my father's rather prolonged decorating of the sitting room. I thought we were all set for being finished today, but there was a small set-back, when he drilled straight into a cable, creating some nice sparkling, and shorting the sockets in half the house. So, limited electricity ensues and we are waiting on the electrician now. (I might add a small sample of our conversation earlier in the day - me: "have you checked that for wires?" it being directly above a plug socket, the da: "ah, they normally come from the other direction")


If the photo was better definition, you could actually see the three copper strands of the wires exposed.
So the house is a complete kip, and will remain so for some time.
Hurray for hoarding and dodgy DIY!