A few days ago a close friend mentioned that old saying - or was it a song - 'A picture paints a thousand words'.
While studying fine art I was fortunate enough to be taught by a lecturer who was really into literature and he set up a series of sessions during which he would read to us, possibly a chapter, from whatever author fired his imagination at the time (I imagine). One of these was Alain Robbe-Grillet, who really knew how to paint a picture with a thousand (or more) words.
There is virtually nothing like being read to: it has such memories attached to it if we are lucky. That's one of the reasons I find Iain Sinclair's films so interesting, you get to hear his voice narrating and it really is a soothing voice, the voice alone keeps you watching and listening because you do not want it to end. Fortunately the subject matter is interesting too and even though they are about him and/or his concerns they have a wider appeal. That's quite a difficult trick to master - engaging your audience.
It can be so easy to disintegrate into one's woes and make work that other people will want to run from - been there, done it, could do it now in fact but you'll be relieved to know I won't. Distancing one's self really requires vigilance. A self vigilante.
I've no idea how this self vigilante works for me - it seems to just do it now I've conjured it up. Odd I know, but true. My work starts out with something to do with me and gets transformed the more I work with it - a visual 'chinese whispers' (I hope it's still ok to mention that childhood game - or has it now been renamed 'the ability for verbal communication to be wrongly heard/construed', 'that mysterious gap' or 'oral, aural, oral' - try and say that really quickly). Thinking about it - there was another lecturer who made us focus on metamorphosis for a while and perhaps that set it all in motion.