Image courtesy Christina Mackie
Image courtesy Christina Mackie

Here we are in the middle of eternity

I’m back to when I believed in renewal.

I spend some part of the day, every day, online with the nonagenarians.

Often times I sew. When I’m doing a simple stitch I try to monitor my thinking for the sound of interior backchat. My habit was to listen to podcasts while doing routine tasks at the studio and when I started this pause-period away from there I had to listen to lectures to make even gardening bearable.

Now I can hear myself think.

As the lockdown lifts the noisy cars come back and get on my nerves.

It’s made me appreciate my apartment. I’ve accumulated good stuff over the years, from when I moved in with a record player and a futon and some books.

I’ve been clearing the garden of bamboo, which arrived and stayed for 20 years. At the same time as a return to those early years it is definitely a renewal.

Weaving bought in Guatemala when I was there for the Still Life show, wooden bag handles bought in Kitakyushu when I was there for the Meanwhile show, strong soft shirt lengths from Soho, rayon crepe, hard denim jeans lengths. I’ve made a new set of clothes and reduced the level on the stack of materials and old plans from previous times. I’m clothed in decades of material accumulation made form.

My computer spudger has crossed the room to be a sewing machine presser foot aid. 

The re-examination of the current has jumped species to re-examination of my people.

I didn’t stay at the studio in this time out of time, I had work to do to bring home and the past and present together. Studio movement can restart after these months of repair and renewal, as we arrive in now.

And it’s time to get out of here.

– Christina Mackie, May 2020

Christina Mackie led the fourth Cornwall Workshop, held at Kestle Barton in October 2017, and her installation The Judges II was subsequently shown at Godolphin as part of Groundwork in 2018. Mackie is best known for her composite sculptural installations, which unite disparate elements in a state of temporary synthesis. These elements circle subjects that have in the past included: environment, ecology, pervasive data, surveillance, the pleasure of privacy, analogue vs. digital, science and the transgenic, power and the family. Mackie was born in England and raised in Canada before relocating to London in the 1980s. A monograph on her work, supported by the Contemporary Art Society, UK, was published in 2015.