A Room of One’s Own

House Wife (2) 2008 med

He is annoyed because the estate agent hasn’t yet returned his call. Perhaps we haven’t got it, the flat, that is. Perhaps he’s given it to someone else. He had someone else who was interested, he said. Did he? I said, I don’t remember him saying so. Why don’t you just call him back? I ask. I don’t want to chase him, he says, his brow now angry with disappointment. Did I want it? I don’t know. It promised a room, a room of my own to work in and space to hang my pictures, all of them. But otherwise? I don’t know. The floorboards are too dark, and it wasn’t clean. Though that can, of course, be remedied. And the view from the bedrooms of the building site leaves much to be desired. Nevertheless, it is quiet up there and there is room to breathe. I was surprised by my sanguinity. It didn’t seem to matter one way or another. The prospect of it, moving and everything, makes me feel weary but it would bring new possibilities and I like those, always have.

So what is it about this room thing? I remember her saying about her colleague at work, about how the fact that he hasn’t a studio means that he can’t make work. Does it? Isn’t it just that the work has to change, become more portable, smaller, snappier? I have managed over these last three years. I have made my work and my writing on the kitchen table. Made. For they are both a process of making. Writing is more portable, obviously, but requires a certain amount of privacy. At least for me it does. I think about that third room. It wasn’t, isn’t what I had dreamt for myself but it would’ve done. My work has been changed by each new space that I have made it in. Each studio, each flat, each table have each had their input – shaping and forming the outcome. I like that. I like to think it isn’t just me that’s talking. We are porous. Life affects us, environment effects us – it is as it should be.

I am sorry that he is disappointed. I want him to be happy. I have to trust to life. And I do. The right space will come at the right time. It’s just a question of waiting and living as well as one can until it does. And believing that one has all one needs in this moment, now, right here, now. Right now.

By Ellen Bell

Artist and writer currently living in Aberystwyth.