(Photo: Alamy)

Well goodbye Handshake4, except it’s not goodbye is it? These past two years have raised more questions than given answers and I have no doubt that these questions will be nagging away for a while yet. I will try to kick them around in an attempt to lose them but I suspect they are pretty embedded and will not go away.

But that’s healthy right? We all know that it’s essential to keep questioning in order to remain vital. A fully resolved art practice is a moribund one.

Question, question and then question again. Keep nipping away like a pesky terrier, that’s what HS4 and Nicolas have taught me. I have always been  tempted to be lazy and to take the easier path; to rely on wit, smoke and mirrors to deflect the critical gaze and obfuscate the challenging and the troublesome. When talking about or analysing my work, I have long been an exponent of the ‘oh no, I’m getting too serious and I might be boring my audience … look! here’s something shiny!’ school but HandShake has given me a big nudge in the side and calmly told me that there is a different way which has the potential to be more honest and ultimately more fulfilling. I might bore the pants off people along the way but that’s a risk I have to suck up.

I’m not there yet, in fact I haven’t even packed my bag for the trip, but HS4 has shown me a difficult and gnarly path, one that promises to be more rewarding to follow. To flog this awkward metaphor even further, it’s a path that probably won’t ever end but that’s OK, there’s bound to be some diverting scenery along the way.

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