This is a shot of my studio as I started to move in. It was a noisy, noisome little room and I was deeply uncomfortable there for the two years I had access to it. I was 49 years old when I started the MFA program and found that my new environment was indifferent, on a good day, to my existence and that almost every day was a challenge to my acceptance of myself. I found myself in a filthy, brash and unimaginative place and I was exhausted by the pace of things, the unrelenting self-involvement of so many of the people around me and the demands of the 21st century university economy. This small space was where I would steel myself every morning and become someone a little different before striding out into my new world.