Classes have officially ended here at Arthaus and we are readying ourselves for the dreaded “thesis term” over the summer. We currently have three weeks of “Research” until our current term ends and then after spring break, our theses well and truly begin. I am both incredibly impatient and terrified to get started. I have so much I want to say, so much I could say, but how do I say it?
It helps that the weather is warming up and the sun is back because it helps me warm to the challenge. Having the freedom to dictate my own studio hours and my own research space is empowering, but it can feel sometimes like I’m out to sea, all on my own. However, that’s definitely not the case. I find myself surrounded by willing and eager mentors, artists in their own right, on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who want to know what I’m up to and how best to support me. It’s comforting to know that even though the task can feel daunting, I have them to fall back on, if I need them.
In addition to the sunshine, the eagerness, and the freedom, there’s a quiet sadness in the air these days. We all silently acknowledge that these will be our last weeks as an ensemble, that these will be our last weeks together in Berlin. We will, of course, stay in touch. Some of us will even move back to the same cities, but this experience will soon end. Our relationships will metamorphosize into new constellations after we present our pieces and leave Arthaus in June. I feel a gentle, yet persistent pull in the group to celebrate and enjoy our last moments together before we conclude. A constant desire to know what everyone is doing and how they’re holding up. The sensitivity to ourselves and each other is our top priority lately and I hope we continue in this way as the stress inevitably piles up.
This is a good time. This is a chaotic time. This is also a warm and peaceful time. I feel like the seed sprouting in spring; you can only see a small leaf above the soil, but beneath the ground, millions of events are transpiring, rapidly moving and exploding, determining what type of flower I will be when I bloom. The tulips on my windowsill open their petals to the light. The sun streams through my curtains as I type. My coffee is still warm as I sip and my phone buzzes with several WhatsApp messages: “Who has the studio key?” “What are you up to later?” “Hey, can we meet at the cafe tomorrow?” My eyes close and I can see the tiny explosions and reactions that shape me. And I think I can just about make out what color my petals will be.