The work of sculptor Thomas Houseago gave me a tremendous thrill of the kind that made me feel I must continue to push myself to create. It is also such a positive to respond thus to contemporary art, especially when increasingly I feel I can engage less and less with what is being lauded.
On seeing a note of the current exhibition of Houseago's work in the Hague, I was reminded of the exhibitions I saw in Oxford a few years ago, the pieces I saw in Wakefield, and look forward to seeing more in the future.
Once upon a time, with an artist whose work had such a strong effect on me, I would have booked a trip to the Netherlands. There was a time when I would travel all over just to see an exhibition, but now I am much more discriminating - and I manage my excitement better!
Now that my dutiful daughter years are over, and I am recovering from them, I find that the importance of trying to make my own work is increasingly taking over. There comes a point when one can see too much of other people's work and there's a desire just to work, work, work and think about work.
Of course that does not exclude reading about and seeing artists' work; but I'm finding it good to be discriminating, and to choose to revisit where an acquaintance was too superficial rather than constantly be pursuing the new. So, while I often turn over in my mind my memories of Houseago's work, and look forward to having the opportunity to learn what he is doing, and see more at some point - I am content to work with what I already have.