diary, 12 april - 18 april
(originally published at: https://darp.substack.com/p/sophies-diary-12-april-18-april)
Monday 12 April 2020
Had coffee in bed with Ella this morning. The light is so beautiful in her room, coming through in hazy slithers. We gossiped and stared at the blackboards on the wall ahead of us, and considered the to do list she had written on them. There were dead flowers in a vase on the windowsill and an empty dominoes box by the door. She looked soft and angelic and had a squashy voice from recent sleep. I complained about various things to her, thought about how coarse my voice sounded comparatively, and then ran out to write my morning pages.
At 9AM we had a house meeting. We have recently become the local Co-op’s food waste partner, meaning there was an abundance of free food for breakfast. Sean stuffed the surplus croissants with cheddar, spinach and pineapple chutney. I poured an entire punnet of blueberries onto my porridge, which felt excessive, but also good. We cleaned together and then I got myself ready to make a trip to London. I was excited, I’ll be honest. I love DARP and, despite being a devout Londoner, have grown to crave the reclusiveness it provides. But as the UK starts to open up again, I have to admit that all I want is a chaotic London street, to go to small galleries and look at art irl, to almost have an anxiety attack on the tube and to buy some overpriced stationary. I’m heading to London primarily because I am showing a series of pastel drawings in a group show at The Sunday Painter (alongside Harminder Judge, Kate Newby, and Gillian Lowndes). This is the first time I have been in a show at a commercial gallery in London, and, as a Sunday Painter fan girl, this is quite a big deal for me. I feel proud and excited, but am also dealing with intense imposter syndrome. (website for exhibition here!)
(Note to self: Fuck! The clouds look so good out this train window! They have that beautiful violet shadow on their underbelly, and are cartoonishly fluffy and white on top. The trees also look so good: their shadows are long and there are acid yellow fields in the distance, interrupting all the muted, English greens and browns.) Tuesday 13 April 2020, Wednesday 14 April 2020
These days have been lost to London. I can’t really tell you what I’ve been doing, but basking under sky scrapers and eating disappointing food in panicked restaurants. I’m in the very early stages of seeing someone, so, I must admit, I spent a lot of the time buried under their duvet. They live in a place described as ‘serviced living’ in a massive block in Canary Wharf; it’s a bit like a domestic WeWork. Everything is painted grey and there’s terrible art on many of the walls and floors. Here’s a pic of m favourite artwork, ‘paint, yoga, words, war, jelly, art, MMA, apps’.
Thursday 15 April 2020
Finally made it to my show at the Sunday Painter today! Will and Harry had hung the show so thoughtfully, with so much breathing room and dynamism in the room. I went with Divya and after we walked over to our friend’s café in Kennington, Sugar Pot, to collect Daisy. After wondering around aimlessly for a bit, we decided to hang out on the skate ramp in Kennington Park. Daisy smoked cigarettes. I thought about how we had gotten so old. And what we were sill doing in a skate park. At 5PM I realised I was too cold and tired to be in London, and so impulsively made the decision to return to DARP. I went to M&S at Kings Cross and bought two packs of percy pigs for my housemates here, but then accidentally ate one of the packs over the course of the journey back. (London is depleting and I really, really needed 700 calories of percy pigs) I got back and there was hot pasta on the table. We ate together and I told everyone that it was better at DARP, and that I would strongly recommend they didn’t leave. We came up with a new slogan for our as-of-yet immaterial merch: “LOVE DARP, HATE YOU”. (jk, we hope to foster a nurturing and inclusive environment at DARP). Friday 16 April 2020
Today was slow. I went to the studio at some point and slightly messed up a drawing that I had, until that point, been happy with. At lunchtime I returned to my bed to nap and read. I had just started my period though, so I felt this was an acceptable thing to do. At around 7PM, a friend of mine and Jake’s, another Sophie, arrived. We ate lentil stew and chips together. Sophie was very impressed with DARP but expressed concern over it potentially being spooky in the night. Saturday 17 April 2020
Breakfast time at DARP is always the best. The windows in the kitchen are south facing and the room becomes a sun trap. Jake made Sophie and I porridge in a bain-marie. I took the piss out of him initially, but must admit, the results are very creamy. After a walk to the café in Shipley Country Park, Jake, Sophie and I headed out to the basketball court to paint each other. We each took it in turns to pose and then gave each other 25 minutes to get something down on the canvas. We all studied at the Royal Drawing School together, so you can understand from where we may have picked up this rather romantic activity. My paintings were not great, but the exercise is always good training for the eyes. And good training in letting go, in making something. Anything.
In the evening we made bbq food (which we cooked inside in the oven, rather than on the bbq, so perhaps the food was more bbq adjacent) and talked about memories from school. Sophie told us an incredible story about a year 7 who’s bum got superglued to a toilet seat, and how they had to be taken to hospital to have it surgically removed.
Sunday 18 April 2020
Another slow breakfast. More porridge. Sophie left! Back to London! Ella, Jake and I stayed at the table and gossiped. Discussed painters at Project Native Informant. Discussed potential plastic surgery. Decided it was more authentic if artists were ugly. Jake and I did a work out whilst Ella programmed on my bed. Spent the afternoon teaching students over zoom, reading, writing this. Realised I had slightly overdone it with the workout. Lay horizontally for a while. At 8, went to eat communal dinner that the others had made! Rice that tasted like stuffing from Christmastime and roast veggies from Trinity farm’s surplus food. Nothing was out of a packet (apart from the Sriracha, which I am addicted to and keep, shamefully, under my chair at every meal). For dessert we had an experimental bread-and-butter pudding and there was an exciting moment when I blowtorched the top of it with a heat gun from my studio.
(!Note to self! consider going into food writing, since all I seem to want to do is write a love letter to porridge)