It is with mixed emotions that I am writing this farewell blog; I will be sad to leave the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire and the wonderful creative people who have made it their home but I am also excited about starting a new life.
I began in local government planning a portfolio career and a temporary stay in the bureaucratic side of things but as time rolled by I began to appreciate the creativity and passion of those who make the spaces in which the arts flourish. What I hadn’t planned on was how all-consuming such work could become and how little space it could leave for personal creativity, reflection and the exploration of other fields of work. I had always intended on stepping away from local government to try other paths and so when the opportunity arose it seemed like the right time to take the risk. I have a theory that all artists should serve a term at the Arts Council, that all Arts Council employees should be required to work in local government and that all local government officers with an interest in culture should be given at least a weekend break in a creative setting. How much better would we work together if we have all walked in one another’s shoes at least for a while?
The world around us is changing rapidly and the plans I made at the outset seem distant and naïve now but as I prepare for a long journey into an unknown future I am as excited as I was on the first day or my first job. Before I became acquainted with spread-sheets, contracts and Gantt charts and that early exuberance slipped into more measured enthusiasm. Some of you have shared this journey with me and others will have stopped reading long before now. For those who made it to the end of this farewell, thank you for your support and inspiration over the years. I am sorry not to have been able to speak with more of you but I have a plane to catch.