Over the last 10 days I've been completely deaf - well, not completely....more like being underwater and trying to hear people from 2 rooms away. Nothing serious just a mega inner ear wax problem - very yuck. There is a point to my writing this - it made me reflect on another aspect of life as an artist.
This kind of 'deafness' takes your internal noises to a completely other level - eating is ferociously noisy with every chew sounding like cement mixer, swallowing is like a vast underwater bubble bursting and breathing is like being shadowed by an iron lung. One has absolutely no idea of pitch or volume so I had to ask friends to warn me if I was shouting - which I was, when not mumbling incoherently. Yesterday I was saying the word 'Rottherham' and could actually hear my tongue 'sawing' against my teeth in an backwards forwards movement - it felt deeply weird and hard to focus on sensible things.
So having had my ears 'hoovered' today and my hearing return to normal, I thought about how the blocking up of my ears had turned my world inward - the outer world receded and I felt like a prisoner in my own head, discombobulated and disconnected. It felt like a metaphor for what to avoid in life, especially as an artist. We need to 'unblock' ourselves and our responses otherwise the inwardness becomes overwhelming and disorientating - we miss the whole wide world.
Well, it felt like a meaningful epiphany at the time!
Fion Gunn is a London based visual artist with an international multi-media practice.