Oubliettes, the Mobius Chair, and Rumplestiltskin in the studio



My studio spaces have tended to be one of 2 environments. The dark dank basement in which lighting, moisture, and space were constant combatants. Or cramped Mujiryushi/Ikea desks, tucked in a corner and made to accomodate a small doorway to digital realms. These 2 visions have probably played a fair role in defining how and what my work can become. And each has allowed me a bit of envisioning of how my work works.


One is the oubliette, a dark sanctum from which I pursue the philosphers stone by carefully mixing various crushed pigment rocks. The other has been the more digitally minded Mobius Chair – in which I ride throughout the known universe of mind seeking to express the inexpressible and develop the undeveloped. Each is a rather grandiose envisioning of my work place, but its a way to over come the shortcomings of my previous spaces and allow enough room for myself and my work to live in my imagination.


But things are about to change in a major way. If you look at the 2 photos in this post, you will see the rough space that I will be transforming over the coming months into my new full-time studio. The space is big. Big, as in about 3-times as big as my previous biggest studio space, and in this case it won’t be just a walled-off corner of a shared loft-space, but a real room all to myself. Emphasizing those last 3 words.


This will be a big project for me. My wife and daughter will be moving into a new home in just over a week, and this attic space is all mine. So I start looking at how to re-imagine this room, and I don’t mean that from a design standpoint. Honestly, I imagine the aesthetics of the space will be fairly pedestrian, and more about creating a place to get some work done, than anything else. What I am most interested in thinking though,  is how this space will fit in my imagination.


There are basically 2 parts to this room as it wraps around a stair well in large perpendicular squares. While there will be no way to think of it as an oubliette, I am partial to one corner having a focus on digital work and that still resonates to me as a Mobius Chair bound for parts unknown.  I don’t know what to make of the larger space though. I am sure it will be about painting, drawing and some sculptural work, but I don’t know how that will appear and sit in my imagination.


Is it a high tower from which I can spin straw to gold for an imagined miller’s daughter? Or an observation deck from which I can sit Jimmy Stewart like and craft stories of the world? An endless closet from which I can new and as of yet unimagined clothes for my work to wear? The possibilities are there and sitting right in front of me awaiting a story to explain them.


This is probably part of the fun of moving into and inhabiting a new space. The room and the inhabitor get to create the space and find/create what it means together. I often think of studios and creator’s spaces as being as interesting as the work that comes from them. They are all part of the process of creation and a narrative that informs the creation.


So tell me about your creative space? what makes tit vital for you? How do you see yourself in your creative space, and how do you define it? A story? An Image? Or what?