Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

For the last 5 years I have kept date diaries to remind myself not only of future events/meetings/things coming up, but to note down things in the past that I can then use in the future. So I can look back at my 2011 diary and find the name of a cafe I used to go to when I lived in Amsterdam because I remembered vaguely the time of year that I was there and flicked through the pages and weeks until I found it noted down. For example. My diaries are always filled with to-do lists. I never thought about publishing them. I guess they act as an archive of my activities, locations and encounters of the last 5 years which is pretty cool (kind of). I only keep a date diary because I am a bit OCD about being able to remember things/places/names, but now that it has been 5 years and I can’t see myself stopping using them, it is interesting to think of having an archive in 20 years documenting 25 years of my life. This is actually something that has crept into my artistic practice.

Frances Wilkinson

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I don’t keep a diary as such, but I do a lot of note taking, about health, wellbeing, living self sufficiently, and generally planning my life. I have the book As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, which is the diary a woman who lived in Japan in the eleventh-century. I thought this was pretty great. An insight into a time that is so far removed from my life, but you still feel connected to for simply being human. So maybe someone in the future will appreciate my various notes too.

Katie West

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I don’t keep a ‘diary’, but I have multiple notebooks full of notes, both linguistic and visual sketches. Sometimes when I’m writing or drawing diagrams (which are often abstract images representing energy) I think, “What if one day after I die, someone looks through this book…. What would they see?” And then there are also the words or sentences that I write over and over again, each time meaning something new to me, but from the outside, maybe it would seem like I have no new thoughts. I find this funny and interesting.

I really enjoy looking through other people’s thoughts on paper, it feels so personal, like you’re getting to know the part of that person that never quite makes it into the world in any other form.

I’d like my notebooks to be shared in some way to someone at some time…. I don’t know how, where, when and with who, but I guess this doesn’t really matter. My notes are for me, but they are open for others.

Lilian Steiner, diary sketch

Lilian Steiner

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I keep a million diaries. None of them really connect or make sense. I often find when i am reading heavy text I have to write notes to help me make sense of what I’m reading. I always start with a new diary for a project with neat sketches and notes but is always ends up being written over every other notebook. Occasionally I write a personal diary. These are usually shredded and used in the chicken coop. This kind of writing is better not to be shared or re-read. The chickens haven’t spilled any secrets as yet…

Claire Robertson

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I just had to look up the word posthumously. I’d never heard it before – published after the writer’s death. I would probably die over again from deep shame if my diary was ever published posthumously. I used to write in my diary most days from when I was about 10 or 11 until I turned about 16. Looking back at them they are truly unremarkable entries. There are however sporadic moments where I talk quite openly about sex and sexuality which is a little more engaging and surprising because I was a prudish kid. There are also more interesting sections where I attempt to review films from my childhood like, Three Ninjas Knuckle Up or The Peanut Butter Solution. It was quite clear I liked to ‘log’ things as opposed to talk through ideas. There was a certain repetition in most entries. At the top of the page I would declare my love for the person who I adored from afar, usually my sister friends, teachers or older women I’d met through my parents. Lol. I was quite obsessed with the body and food, so entries usually had a weight outlined at the top right of the page and sometimes if I could be bothered, I would log food intake. I would chronologically map out the day and each person I spoke of, friends, family or teachers would appear in capital letters. Most of the activities would be logged, including car trips between places, even if it were to the shops and back. OMG. Excruciatingly banal stuff.

Nat Randall

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I have scores and scores of artistic journals and diaries. I keep them all and rarely reread them. They have been from different projects or periods of my life and I always have one or more on the go. If it was published posthumously, I think that would be embarrassing but fine. Good luck to anyone trying to read my handwriting and scrawl. I would just hope they wouldn’t publish the sections where I write about my crushes.

Janie Gibson

Do you keep a diary? What would you think of it being published posthumously?

I keep a myriad of notebooks, although none are technically my ‘dear diary’. It makes me shudder that they could be so fetishised by others as to be published posthumously. They act intimately as temporary surfaces for the aid of thinking, enabling me to externalise thoughts. Thoughts are by nature so amorphous, as such notebooks enable them to temporarily become concrete and manoeuvrable and thus comparable. I want to stress temporarily though, as I find time erodes connection to any referent and the marks, once meaningful, can become arbitrary, or simply serve nostalgia.

Benjamin Forster