Phase 1: Space

by: Constance Strickland

Space. Over the past six months, I’ve become quite intimate with and have formed a new relationship with space. Beyond the space that I live in, how does space affect my work, how does space affect my spirit?

In preparing to film Theatre Roscius’ two new short films I needed to give myself space to think, absorb, and manifest in a pure manner. I had to find a way to trust that space is holding me up,  that pushing forward in my own way was/is allowed. I had to give myself space from the collective so that my true voice could ring through all the noise. Space gave me room to breathe. It’s easy to fall back into a familiar pattern with space, to sink into a routine with her and dance in circles but I pushed myself to not succumb to her lyrical wooing in my ear. I stayed focused on the clearing of space. To keep only what I need and to let all else go. 

Space has allowed me to shed dead weight and to mourn stale ideas, break away from stagnant actions and false words, and to treat my own voice with care. Space has widened – space has freed my spirit. Space has shown me to accept I cannot control and should not engage in everything. I’m practicing leaving space for the unknown, a wonderful challenge within the work and life. 

Space continues to give me the confidence to not hold back who I am, to believe that thrusting all that I am into all I create reveals hidden pieces of myself but also helps me know when to take what I need and dares me to center my work without compromising my voice. Space has spread my work wide open and revealed to me how I have always been building a sustainable practice from the ground up.  

Space has given me the opportunity to blaze my own trail, to not follow the collective, to see that my work exists between here and there, and that I am a grassroots artist whose work only flourishes if I’m aware of what disrupts my community from thriving as a whole.

Space reminds me I can go beyond my body, beyond my skin, and out my flesh.  Space reminds me that making way for clarity is practice. Space reminded me that I’m building an ode to the future now. That Afro-nowism is alive and thriving. Space reveals that my body of work exists because I continued when there was/is no space for me to be a heterogeneous Black Artist. 

Space has disrupted how I engage + evaluate artistic relationships while expanding and elevating my work. Yet, most importantly space made way for me to question, test, and push myself honestly in order to continue to build a sustainable art practice. 

As British Artist Phyllida Barlow so inquisitively states, “The spaces, the silences in between, are as much a component of the work as the thing itself.” Leave space to adjust yourself. Trust in the space between what you know and do not understand.

One thought on “Phase 1: Space

Comments are closed.