So for over a year I’ve been researching, planning and drawing my wall piece, Virtues & Vicissitudes, based on Snakes and Ladders. Because it’s in an exhibition about being a 60-year-old woman, my game starts age 60 and imagines the ups and downs that might take a player to the final square. Snakes writhe out of vicissitudes such as illness, having to leave your home, losing your partner, death of a grandchild.. Ladders rise from virtuous pursuits like falling in love, dancing, volunteering, travelling and something as simple as giving a bunch of flowers. But, despite my attempts at denial, I have arrived at the final square [hopefully only metaphorically!]. How to represent the end? The thing that takes you out of the game? I’ve tried drawing fireworks, abstract explosions, pure white. I considered leaving that square blank, and then thought I’d use words. Trying to choose between ‘winner’, ‘game over’ and ‘made it’ and couldn’t because they all felt too trite. And a cop-out. I get annoyed at the ubiquitous text used on images and usually wonder if the artist just couldn’t be bothered to extend their visual language. Right now, in my case, that’s the case. So I’m back to looking for an image that feels just right. That feels like all I hope for when it comes to my final day. This is too hard. I give up and make a cup of tea. I take it outside and sit on the grass outside my studio feeling hopeless when I look up there it is … the inspiration I’ve been waiting for.