Reflections on the Residency with M. Victoria Savka


This past month at the Yards was so fruitful!  Quite literally the first week was spent stretching my hibernated watercolor muscles by painting tangerines. The fruits were just stepping stones into a grove of forgotten ideas.  As I stretched my arms, I had to stretch my mind.  For multiple years I had focused narrowly on a specific group of work and my mind was uneasy and unprepared for something new.  Where were my ideas!? 


To tell you the truth, they usually sit and live either on small scraps of paper in various folders, or somehow they float about in my mind, usually held down by a single string.  If I do not jot them down within the minute they have more than likely floated away.  So I quickly turned to those ideas I had recorded.  Within a plastic folder I found a collection of journals from 2015.  They aren't exactly your typical school grade journal, but rather a collection of various illustrations.

For the past three years I have been 'journaling', but in a more abstract manner.  I have been jotting down succinct words or phrases that describe a day, an experience, or an idea that I wish to remember.  From there I created maps, or small illustrations reflecting those notes.  They have become what I call now, "Mind Mappings".  They are small glimpses into cherished moments, salty memories, or merely nostalgic thoughts that bring a smile to my face.  These journals give me time to reflect and dissect events. They help me understand how I've grown and changed from those experiences. They are mind maps full of abstracted memories and feelings. 


During this past month of reflection I completed many of these Mind Mappings that had not yet been completed since I jotted down my thoughts.  Refreshed by this breeze of nostalgia I began to consider less about the past, but more of the present.  Where I was, right then and there!

As January had become a month of reflection I decided to create a series of six drawings based on this month. Each focuses on a specific part of this past month and its importance to me.  By considering my many actions, ideas, and choices I reflect how they shape the course of my life.  I asked myself many questions:  How can minute details can shape you?  What about your 'routine' can influence your outlook in life?  Do you enjoy the small pleasures in life?  What are they?  "Write them down, Victoria!" my brain shouted!  Thus I created a lively abstracted collection of January.  I have continued reflecting into the month of February and have been planning on reflect much more as this year progresses.

I am so grateful to having the opportunity of being part of the Yards Residency program.  The A-I-R has given me time to reset my brain in order to pursue a new group of work.  Being part of the Yards has provided me space, time, and a community that helped me to brainstorm and bounce my ideas.