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The Whole in my Soul

A few years ago I became aware that I was unable to express myself without filtering my content and felt imprisoned by  an invisible source. On reflection I believe it concerned the taming of my spirit as my art and raw state of being had to be compromised for the (art)world in which my art was a commodity. I was seen as having a raw talent but it needed to be directed towards a more sanitized commodification. The problem with this was that the compromise was very much the thin end of a wedge which damaged the inspiration behind my work. I the artist felt obliged to be honest and yet I felt separated from my truth. I felt so compromised that I couldn’t even write, sculpt, speak or draw my own truth.

I discovered that there was no space or place for an ordinary and poor person to make art within a wealthy society because one has to achieve an economic status to survive. And so it was that through my adventures I uncovered this problem within, I found myself stuck in a reality which I felt was controlling my life. An actuality that’s possibly a symptom that many people will be aware of through the compromise society imposes upon us, but as an artist you feel it very directly through the process of open expression.

I still remember that unbearable feeling of being held by this invisible force which could only be broken by expressing what I felt was the truth. I know that this may sound a bit precious but as an artist it was compromising my expressions and making my life feel worthless. Because if I as an artist felt unable to express a candid truth I wondered about where in society the confrontation of truth may take place.

There is good news for me because the optimism which stains my soul always prevails in the end, and I did find my way back to authenticity. Now when I write an entry in my blog I write what I feel without fear or expectation, something which I still have to carry forward into my art. My art being an area of my life which I abandoned a year ago in order to resolve my direction.

As an artist I feel I’ve returned to ground zero and am almost ready to begin again, though I really don’t know what will happen. So much has changed in my approach to life and my ability to see through the facade of society feels more intense. However my soulful purpose feels as it always has which is in part a dismissal of society and the social issues which disconnect me from my core humanity.

So as an artist I may just continue to focus on the miraculous mystery of being, of life without logic or rational explanation. A life making art which flies in the face of the current art trends of contextual, conceptual and social commentary. Art which is not about societal art within the western canon of tradition, but art which is about a focus of expression from the whole of the soul. The undiluted expression as an attempt to connect beyond contrived narrative.

Thanks for looking 🙂

The Impossibility of Everything

I recall a conversation I had with a friend whilst driving in the south of England a few years ago in which he said this moment is like an impossibility. Sitting here together driving, talking and taking life for granted within the context of space, time and infinite possibility. An ordinary actuality that depended on everything ever happening before (the way it did), a moment just part of the ongoing moments which in turn impact the future. We both felt that the possibility of circumstance is almost impossible as a mathematical probability, yet an inevitability of existence. Every moment of life a special and precious gift, bound in this contradiction of magic and inevitability.

As a human being it’s possible to take ones predicament for granted, yet our individual existence is manifest from a trillions to one probability, which I believe makes each and every life miraculous and special. Every moment in our existence special just because it occurred against the odds of it ever occurring. This complex construction of a living breathing entity with a beating heart is a complete mystery and yet more often than not we take this for granted and live lives bound and influenced by the social pressures imposed by society.

This beautiful magic of existential life is so amazing that I believe it deserves exploration in the purest of ways. Or at least a pause and a moment of recognition and reflection to realise what actually occurs to allow us to experience the present, the right here and the right now. As in a life stripped bare to the point of confronting existence and the search for a true connection to source. This is where I feel that art has a major role to play in society, because it is where we humans can express ourselves without formal language or concepts. We can just make marks as intuitive gestures, expressions from the soul and from whatever connects us to existence. Expression as an open gesture without the imposition of order, logic or rational interference. expression which allows us to see within and beyond conscious imposition.

As an artist I want to feel my connection, which is why I feel compelled to rebel against the taming of the spirit. And also to rebel against the order of society which tries to separate me from the truth of my existence and the importance of being. My hope is that by following a desperate desire for understanding, it will allow me to further understand existence through the singularity of a connected soul, going beyond the distraction of society. To just glimpse as far as my sensory perception will allow and then a little bit more so that I may understand beyond the obvious and feel what it is to be.

Sometimes I look at computer generated images of the solar vortex we inhabit, followed by images of our galaxy and then finally of the cosmic web and I do this in the hope of understanding the circumstance of our existence. Then I think about the limitation of human sensory perception and wonder how it could be possible to understand the complexity of everything with such a simple way of seeing. It does make me profoundly aware of my limitations and how closed my mind is to the possibilities beyond what I think I know. Then I wonder about Dr Seuss and his book “Horton Hears a Who” and I wonder if our world is a microscopic part of something so big that we are incapable of seeing it.

I must admit that seeing the truth of the world as a microscopic part of something bigger helps me to cope with the concept of infinity. And it does this because it allows me to think on a different scale that goes beyond the logic of human perception. Simply because what I take as absolute, may just be entirely wrong and that what I need to be able to see or understand is something so unexpected that I must not take anything for granted.

In this context of time and space my knowledge really amounts to zero but within me as within all of us there is an absolute connection to the source of life and existence. So what if the truth is in there as an intuitive knowledge that we are born with. Accessible through the expressions and marks we make as beings, a possibility which would make art fundamentally important to civilization.

What we are dealing with as conscious organic life forms is massive, huge concepts and notions, becoming ever more complicated as assumed knowledge increases. Perhaps it’s down to the inherent infinity which may exist in every aspect of being, to the point where we really can’t grasp on to anything with certainty. Something which society in its generalisation and dumbing down of existence doesn’t help with. But I also realise that in my thinking I’m imposing my limited perceptions on a vastness which can’t be harnessed by the workings of my mind.

But whatever the answers are to these huge questions, we can look at our own lives within our circumstance and really comprehend the “impossibility of everything” in what at times may seem a mundane and ordinary life. At least then we can appreciate the amazing beauty of existence, the waking up on a morning to yet another special day in the company of fellow strangers. Living together in so-called civilization without really understanding our predicament of what we are, how we got here and whether or not there is a purpose.

In the making of art, or even contemplating the making of art, one is forced to think about the meaning of life. Of course there is no singular answer,  though just maybe there is a feeling that something feels right for the moment. However we evolve and develop and ask further questions, sometimes we get it right and sometimes we fail, and we learn and move on. But as with all human pursuits there is no right or wrong, good or bad within the realms of human expression, that is untill we apply judgements.  Judgements which often become shared and established as part of societal sensibility and imposed as values.

So you forget the judgements and do what you do, if it feels right you’re heading in the right direction. If it don’t feel right then you keep on looking and trying till you find your way.

Have a beautiful day and thanks for looking 🙂

 

 

My Own Little Soul

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Sometimes there is a stillness on a Sunday morning here in Britain, a result of all those years of social conditioning. But ignoring all the reasons for why Sunday is so, I often find a space and place within this stillness to reflect on where I am in life. And today I feel a greater sense of inner peace which is pretty much due to the years of riding through my own storms in a search for meaning, purpose and understanding.

Sometimes life feels like it’s divided into segments such as days, weeks, years or even decades, but today it feels like a weekly division. And as I reflect on my week I feel aware of thoughts and conversations which left me with a certain feeling about where I am now in my life. Not only am I finally understanding the value of socialization, but also the individual freedoms to think and exist. Though it’s in the exploration of the individual freedoms where I really come alive.

As a practicing artist I’ve always felt challenged to take that one step beyond of where I am right now, which has always meant that my pillars of existence have always been temporary and a bit shaky. But as the years have passed I’ve grown accustomed to this insecurity, an insecurity that has in fact become my only security. That in truly not knowing anything I can always reach out and grasp uncertainty. I will admit to periods of life where I really did feel that I’d found answers, but I was always able to pull the rug from under my own feet.

However this week (just another week in my transient state) I have felt a little closer to understanding my plight and the challenges I face going forward (if life is indeed that linear) as an artist. And this feeling I have is all about human freedom away from institution and tradition. How life can be a focus on ones own reality and defined by whatever one feels, because we don’t have to be told how to exist or feel bound to conform to expectations. We can theoretically be citizens of the world unbound from the metaphorical boundaries of social oppression. We don’t have to fit within a system to lead a validated existence.

So when I bring my thinking back within the realms of art I realise that art is anything I wish it to be and the same goes for anyone else. That art is about the freedom of human expression and can neither be good or bad, relevant or irrelevant unless you impose a specific criteria upon it. And yes societies do impose a specific criteria upon human expression which is why artists are forced to challenge this and rebel all the way through.

Just sometimes, like this week for instance, I have these moments of clarity where it all seems so simple and I know I can move forward along the lines of my thinking. Experience has taught me that these periods are always the still before the storm as I get set to move forward and try to turn my thoughts into expressions.

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Thanks for looking and have a great week 🙂

The Art of Fluidifying Identity

#Tooty Two Too

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I find it hard to keep track of linear timelines so when I say I started blogging about seven years ago it is with a bit of give and take. Anyway I’d felt troubled and unable to express myself, perhaps it was the years of solitude and lifes stinky pressures, but whatever it was, the it had made me feel locked in. As an artist I felt unable to express myself with any meaning or purpose, wrestling with the strength to be honest and candid. So I blogged, did social media and real life stuff too, messing about with art, writing and any form of expression I could play with. I just wanted to feel free to express myself in an honest and fearless way, so that I could offer something of value as an artist.

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I didn’t think it would take so long to find my way but it did,  seven years (I think), firstly there was the painful deconstruction and then the rebuilding from the wreckage and finally a year to reflect, out and away from art. It’s funny life, because often you just amble along blissfully unaware of who and what you are because everything feels alright. But then when it all goes wrong and you try to resolve your despair, it’s a whole new game which can be profoundly complex. The truth is that the whole experience exposed deep flaws within my approach to life which effected my approach to art and social interaction. I’d become closed and defensive from the years of being judged as an artist and I just needed to walk away from myself and who I’d become.

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During this time I’ve found the whole process of blogging very cathartic and empowering on a few levels. Firstly I found a way of articulating thoughts and then by finding the courage to share my thoughts I felt able to state anything I wished, this in turn helped my art because I felt able to share and explore any ideas with a reduced level of fear. Now my art had no rules to follow and it didn’t matter if people liked it or not, because I was finding the courage to openly express myself once again. Art was becoming an open expression for me, without the need for a space, place or recognition, it didn’t even have to exist. I knew my art was neither good or bad because I realised that such judgements are based purely on subjective criteria.

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The struggle which I’ve gone through has really opened my eyes and allowed me to see how within my society I had become institutionalised by the convention of institution and establishment protocols. I felt I had to learn to see the world through my own eyes and to decipher my own interpretation and take on life. And it was highlighted through my struggle to justify my own work to myself after it was rejected formally wherever I offered it within the art world. Here I was able to see that the freedom of art is compromised by the movers and shakers of the art world and furthermore it highlighted the whole categorisation of art within society as nothing more than an invented human made concept. In turn I became aware that society is often led and governed by past precedents that often fail under scrutiny yet we follow them without questioning. Moreover I saw art within society as an area which has become corrupted by the rich as they playfully buy and sell it in the public domain, using it for purposes beyond the respectful sharing of human expression.

THE TIPPING POINT

I really don’t want to appear negative in my writing and sharing of thoughts because I’ve always looked for positives even in the darkest of places. And this whole adventure of mine or life as its formally known is about exploring freedom and understanding existence through human expression. However it can become really complex and compromised by the circumstance and formalities of society. The thing is that I can’t help but see art as an open language of human expression and communication, bound only by the limitation of the mind and senses. And it’s in this invitation to explore freedom that you feel your wings have been clipped by the formal conditioning which society imposes upon people in order to establish control and order.

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The good news for me is that I think I understand my predicament now and that I’m psychologically strong enough to explore the possibilities without the need for any reward or validation. I also feel capable of exploring more extraordinary ideas without the need to justify it to myself as being relevant to anything, because there really are no boxes to tick. After all art is really quite anarchistic, an open exploration of the great abyss, using whatever materials or methods are available. I do have a lot of work to do and ground to cover but with art you always feel at the beginning with an eternal “begin again” mentality. And that is the attraction of art, hope optimism and discovery, it’s just like a big playground for the imagination and senses to explore.

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On a more pragmatic note I’m aware that through my work I will also have to make a living and just maybe that will ground me and keep me centred as I move along. But whatever happens along the road I feel prepared to embrace change with a more fluid approach. Even my identity feels more fluid now as a result of my soul-searching, which is also a reflection of the time in which we live.

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Art really is about ecstasy and despair, highs and lows and the great contrasts which create dissonance and tension from which creativity emerges. And as an artist ones life becomes subjected to this torment as you tear yourself apart in the life-long search for inspiration. It can never be easy and if it is, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. And yet for all the effort you pour into your art there’s only ever a brief moments of satisfaction with the odd good work because when you’ve finished something, it falls into the past as you have to move forward. Moving forward with the blank canvas or bag of clay (or empty space), which needs that inspiration to fill, form and shape, trapped in the begin again cycle.

Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

 

So What’s Your Philosophy?

I don’t think anyone has ever asked me what my life philosophy is and I don’t expect anyone is really interested in it. However for me its central to my life and wellbeing and what occupies my thoughts on a daily basis. No matter how busy my life is or how distracted I am by the pressing needs of survival within society I just can’t help but think beyond the mundane. Thinking about meaning and purpose beyond the confines of societal programming and wondering why human experience within society seems to be so limited.

It’s like there are two truths of being, my compliant social soul and my free thinking soul, which are not really compatible. This is because there’s no formal place for freedom as much as there is no place for formality within the realms of freedom. Although this may sound like an irrelevance it does cause many issues on the more social levels of being, often making life feel irrelevant to the formal cause of human existence. I think the dilemma often arrives out of a questioning of beliefs in which beliefs hold us to a way of thinking that we don’t truly understand. We just believe and hold onto beliefs as markers of our identity within the social framework of society, never really questioning them to destruction.

Politics is one area of social custom that is the result of formalizing an approach to the governance of social grouping. It’s a societal invention/evolution and a way of making us see the world in a more specific way, but does the political environment of the 21st century fit the spiritual requirements of our time. And do we allow ourselves to be governed by harmful doctrines which do not allow human freedom and planetary harmony. And if we do allow this knowing the consequences of our behaviour why do we allow it. Why do we allow the greed of capitalism to eat the earths resources and litter the planet with toxic detritus. Is it because we are so controlled by our societies that we are unable and incapable of effecting change.

It seems like we are governed by our past, a formalised way of living and being that leads to conflict, oppression and exploitation. A hierarchical system in which the masses are held by tribal identities, so instead of humanity uniting, its unity is divided to maintain a status quo. A world held together and encouraged by difference. It’s like sport is a key contributor to identity on a local level, a mechanism of society through which we are divided by (for example) the football teams we support and on a national level we are united against our division from international rivals. Why do countries try so hard to do well at the olympics to the point of drugging athletes, is running faster really that important. Is victory at the expense of a loser really so wonderful, to me it seems incredible that so much energy is placed in exploring human difference as opposed to human unity. So sport not only supports and reinforces the notion of hiearchy, it also acts as a distraction and encourages primitive tribal values of difference which is often the cement of nationhood and national pride.

So in the 21st Century war and conflict prospers as human beings continue the age-old conflict of tribal conflict. Competing for land minerals and global dominance in what is ultimately a futile exercise of repetition without really learning and I mean really learning about human welfare. A world unable to move forward, divided by religion, politics and ethnicity, when we are all born as innocents into this world. And this is my big issue as an artist, I was born as just another innocent being into this world and then I was shaped and moulded by my society, a society which I still don’t really believe in and a civilisation that is far from civilized.

Human life is just astonishing and under the scrutiny of objective analysis, formal society  makes little sense. No sense that we as humans impose an order of limitation upon ourselves that formalizes our existential reality into the confines of a narrow set of beliefs. And its this deliberate construction of society that can’t contain or satisfy the human freedom which an artist searches for as they look for authenticity and truth. To hide behind logic, rational thinking, religion, politics and common sense is just to bury your head in the sand whilst denying the true complexity of existence.

As an artist I don’t feel bound to anything, I’m not interested in conflict or identity, I don’t even want to be held by entrenched beliefs. All I want is to be able to express myself in some way that feels authentic to what I understand of my soul purpose, to maintain a fluidity within my thoughts. To feel the reality of my own life outside of what is imposed upon me as a result of my geographical location. To this extent I can neither succeed or fail on a human level or within the framework of society, because my time as a being is just an exploration.

And at the moment that is pretty much my philosophy 🙂

Have a lovely day

The Impossibility of Truth

I’ve recently come to a stark realisation about the effect of social engineering upon my soul and life’s purpose. In particular how my own human truth is compromised by my truth within the social context of society and how my approach to art has been influenced.

I’ve become increasingly aware of how society constrains our curiosity and dreams. But making art has shone a light for me and allowed me to see through what I once believed. How we’re indoctrinated into formal schools of approach to all subject matter and how difficult it is to think beyond these parameters.

I can say that I still don’t feel entirely free to think without external influence and that I have no fixed idea of what is true to my purpose or if there is a truth. But at least for now my thoughts are becoming more fluid as I address the concerns of an authentic artistic expression.

As a one time traditionalist I’ve had to turn away from a more classical approach to art and look for something new which satisfies a more fundamental urge to express my humanity. Art that is not about institutional conformity but instead a free and open-ended drive without an expectation of outcome.

Following a confrontation of my conformity I’ve reached a turning point where I no longer wish to follow a creative life within the parameters laid out before me. This is more within my thinking than practice in that I want to be able to think and explore without constraint.

Art for me is that place without boundaries which is why it’s crucial to a healthy society and why it’s so important that some artists seek a deep and meaningful truth. Here art is about leading thoughts and the courage to explore possibilities that may fail to be understood or even fail on a conceptual level.

So I want to make art which searches through the discomfort as well as the comfort of being. Art which challenges what we think we know, art which directs us to a truth. Art which opens our hearts and minds to possibilities that once felt beyond our grasp. Art which allows us to see from a new perspective, art beyond our comfort zones.

This is my challenge and in this next chapter of my life I will look to follow the impossible truths of life. To express myself and just see what happens as I return to my roots and earlier approach to life and art. The glory days before I was knobbled by the whole formality of the stinky art world.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day 🙂

Like Most Normal People

We choose paths in life which lead to our own bespoke adventures. In my life I’ve always been provoked by the temptation to be honest with myself, to cut through the bullshit and see life in its naked truth. I have played the game at times and chased a rat or two however I soon got bored with the ego flattering rewards that had no substance under scrutiny. And it’s because of disappointment that I’ve searched for some substance and truth to create an impression of existential validation.

A life beyond competitive concerns in which there is nothing to prove because what is actually right and wrong or good and bad. Are some things better or just different, is a belief a transitory affliction or a life long shackle. I don’t have any answers because I don’t really know or understand anything with absolution. I just feel that certainty is an ephemeral state in a life subject to a flow which requires change and readjustment. Because life changes us if we can release our beliefs and open up our minds.

In my life and works as an artist I’ve never felt contentment and resolution because of lifes fluid nature of existence in which there is no singular solution or achievement. The I can’t get any satisfaction bit has been one of my toughest challenges, because it stripped me of any ambition beyond the desire to express myself in some way. I found a human truth within that doesn’t need validating in any formal way. So as an artist I look to express myself through exploring what feels relevant to my lifes circumstance.

As an artist I became tired of my art being used to judge me and I became tired of defending my creativity. Tired of trying  to get backing so I could share my work with a bigger audience. Bottom line is I’m just another ordinary single soul, an equal looking for a meaning and purpose. There is an irony to my tale, which is, that the lack of success led to my greatest success. Because in the soul-searching which my struggle provoked, I was forced to see life from a new perspective. A perspective which set me free and able to move in new directions, beyond what I imagined possible.

I still struggle on a material level but my mental torment has dissipated, simply because I’ve nothing to prove to anyone. It’s an outsiders perspective which I feel gives me a greater understanding of society, the mechanics of capitalism and its effects on humanity. As an artist I think one often feels the effects of society without truly being a part of it, because of the unquantifiable nature of expression. I don’t feel like a stakeholder in my society because I don’t feel a strong connection to it, or not as connected as I feel to my own humanity. My sense of belonging is to the cause of existence and not the cause of specific societal confinement.

Identity is important to me but when I look at the world I see a cultural, political and religious divide in humanity. One species divided and warring in a spiral of negative conflict and blood-letting. A world where geography dictates who and what we are. Which is why standing behind a flag of national pride may in fact be a slightly false identity engineered through cultural conditioning. I’m a product of Britain therefore I’m British, but what if I don’t feel British or if I disagree with Britishness. What if I feel like a citizen of nowhere and just an existential entity. How then do I define myself and do I need to feel the belonging to a collective identity. The real question being is how can I feel free whilst being confined by the parameters of one society in a divided world? The answer for me has been to become more withdrawn and to focus my mind on thinking in my own private space. To take that journey in my mind where there are no rules

Like think writing out aloud here in my blog where I share some thoughts and let my unfettered thoughts float free in this little space and place. My place of words where I want to be able to have a conversation without reservation, although it can be a bit of a monologue city. But the amazing thing is, that the discipline of writing my blog allows me to formally process my thoughts and it clarifies my thinking allowing me to move forward in a similar way to my art making practice. It’s also liberated me in that I feel enabled to say, write or feel anything, to be comfortable with my own voice and thoughts. To accept the eccentricity which defines individuality within the similarity the collective existence of most normal people.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

The Art of Life is Hard Today

Making art plays with your mind whilst raising many questions about purpose and the meaning of life. And because there are no rules to creative expression, one’s liberated in an exploration without the boundaries imposed by society. It’s an interesting space and place to occupy, if not a little disconcerting. Following this creative process often take you to a place that has no real place within society. A place that in some ways is a state of mind that goes beyond a need to be materialised, because we are the art. Beings who express ourselves being the embodiment of creativity.

I feel that art has the power to change us and alter our perceptions so that we can see life in a different way. As an artist I know it’s changed me and I’m sure those who don’t practice art will have their lives touched by art in some way. So in our ways of seeing, art has a clear purpose, by the triggering of a response and reaction. Art as a reflex beyond the formalities of good and bad and the aesthetic refinements of tradition. To this extent I sometimes feel that art is everything and everything is art.

As a viewer of art I want to get what the artist is saying even if it’s subliminal or just a feeling that it leaves me with. Which is why the intent of art is so important, because it shines through and communicates, which is why the whole thinking process which underpins art is paramount. So for me it’s not so much about telling with obvious narratives but showing through a creative demonstration.

Possibly one of the most interesting elements of art is this thinking bit, the journey through the mind in search of a relevant expression to complement existential experience. A process touching upon the reaction to life and circumstance, and the inspiration to make something exciting and new. For me the fun is in the thought and realisation of this cyclical process, the expressions like stepping-stones marking out the adventure of a life unfolding. And in trying to keep the momentum of forward movement I’m often reminded of what someone always used to say to me “watch where you’re going, not where you’ve been”.

In my practice of art it’s always been a dream to make art that is extraordinary, reaching out towards the limits of my sensory perception. Accepting the invitation to take that step beyond the ordinary and into the imagination where endless possibilities await. It’s a simple vision of art which delivers a special experience in the celebration of life. Unfortunately I do get blown off course and at times lose my way, but somehow I always find my way back. Back to that place where I feel the need to make something exciting and new. My ticket to the land of optimism where anything and everything is possible.

Just maybe art is about optimism, forever sitting on the cusp of discovering new ideas. Reaching forward to grasp what is out of reach, following a brief glimpse or vision of an idea. An idea that I can sense is possible if only I could capture it. And it’s this joy and optimism which makes the hardship of an artist’s life worthwhile and what inspires me to battle through my complex internal conflict. Thinking and contemplating with all that I’ve got in the vain hope that something will happen. That I will find a meaning and purpose to briefly satiate the longing of my soul and direct my existence.

At times, long times, like years at a time I’ve been known to frequent a wilderness of despair. A place where my ideologies conflict with the realities of circumstance, where I feel bound and restricted by the overwhelming imposition of conventional expectations. It’s almost like I imprison myself with the need to be congenial within the judgmental  arena of society. Maybe I’m afraid of the inevitable negativity which is provoked through difference and conflict, whatever it is I have to work through it. So that I can hold onto my dreams, dreams savaged by the storms and tumult of everyday life. Searching for a path that feels untainted by cynicism, fresh ground to tread upon in an overcrowded world

It’s a crazy life and in the scheme of things nothing really matters and yet it does. I will never achieve anything of significant magnitude, beyond a token offering  into the vastness of infinity. Yet I feel profoundly concerned with being significant and true to what I feel is my soul purpose, maybe this is what being a “legend in your own lunch-time” is all about. So with a determination I try to hold onto these ephemeral fragments, to weather the storms, so that I can hold on to being me, because that is all I’ve got. This tenuous grip on the connected force of existence, this life force that I don’t even have the sensory capacity to understand.

So is there a way forward from here?  Well I feel that I almost have to begin again because my life pretty much crashed. My direction ran its course, slowly petered out and metaphorically came to rest at the buffers. Life has chaned me, so what I’ve decided to do is continue with my sculpture, though I wont exhibit my work or do commissions for now, instead I will share images of my work in the virtual world and try to sell it through my website. I feel that by taking these steps I can once again make the sculptures which I feel are a necessity to my process and evolution. Take control of my life so that I can produce authentic art made purely as an expression and hopefully find my way without the distraction and influence of external expectation.

Thank you for looking and I wish you well 🙂

THE ART OF AUTHENTICITY

I know I’ve only just published a blog 🙂 but after a year in the wilderness I need to blast away the cobwebs so that I can get on with a bit of the old arty farty stuff. So here goes with a few more reflections. Hopefully some new art works will follow when the ice melts in my studio.

I’ve lived a life riddled by questions without answers, which is perhaps why I chose to be an artist. A life in which I feel that I’ve grown, evolved and changed, even though I’ve been a little reluctant to accept the possibilities of this reality. At times allowing my identity and set of beliefs to dictate the parameters of my perception. I suppose in many circumstances within society a fixed  identity is key to social engagement and professional standing and a perception of knowing who you are. However one day I realised that there was no rational or logical reason to the meaning or purpose of life and that there was no simple explanation to account for my existence. In short I felt that a rational overview of life and creativity was like looking at the world through blinkers and I needed to open my eyes. I just kind of knew that there was no solid ground to stand upon and that the only foundation for my life was a profound awareness of uncertainty.

This acceptance of  uncertainty was my own eureka moment in which my entire life became undone and I was officially broken. From being just another unit locked within the parameters of my society I experienced a glimpse of freedom. This realisation has been the most magical aspect of my life as an artist, because it liberated me from a state of self-imposed imprisonment. No longer did I have to be held by a set of constructed beliefs, because I knew that anything is possible with an opening mind.

Recently after all my years of making art, I realised I wasn’t unable to find a space or place within the art world which felt like home. So I took a sabbatical year, a year in which I avoided conscious creative acts. In my year of ordinary life outside of the fabricated art world I could live and respond to a basic reality in which I was able to witness a more fundamental aspect of life. I felt able to ground myself and see life within society, in particular the mechanics of trade and purposed interaction. I had nothing to prove whilst helping get jobs done in and around people’s houses. Observing life far from the world of art and seeing lives untouched by the art which has dominated my whole existence. Here was a different perspective  which highlighted a detachment of the art world from general society. I always thought that art should connect humanity, yet it many ways it appears to divides us through art world elitism. Factionalism ascending over harmony in the upholding of a corrupt and institutionalised status quo. The likes and don’t likes of art, the good the bad and the uglies and all the nonsense of imaginatively invented criteria.

I’ve said it before and I know I’ll say it again, that art which fails to communicate without the help of a so-called expert or critic is the art of failure. Art which requires the protection of institution to qualify its validity is failing to respect humanity and our shared experience of coexistence. Art which is designed to flatter those whose insecurities force them to seek elevation at the expense of their peers is nothing more than a cheap shot. And this is why I cannot be a part of the pseudo-elitist art world and why I need to make art without allegiance or aspirations to conformity. Art which is about an open and transparent communication to fellow human beings of any status or standing in society.

So what am I searching for as an artist? well perhaps art with a purpose, art to connect the collective journey,  to explain the truth and lies and shine a light towards a soulful purpose. Art about a truth and honesty that is difficult to connect with when you’re trying to please and conform with formal expectations. Art as an outpouring of truth no matter how abrasive the response is, art without fear of  toxic judgement. Art which basically says fuck it because I’m going to make what I want and say what I need to say, a life in which my voice isn’t taken from me out of fear. Looking for something which I guess is the freedom to seamlessly express myself.

Yeah, its heavy shit and I know, but the web in which we are each entangled is most complex. Because of this I try to connect within and to understand the soulful level of basic humanity and existence. The who am I outside of society and social influence, when alone with my own little soul. Because from my perspective art is just this, a communication from my own little soul as relevant as it is irrelevant. As important as it’s unimportant, made without a consideration of consequence, format or external reaction. Art that is a free expression from this shared journey we take upon planet earth. Art that has no rules, striking to break free from the conditioning and indoctrination which separates us from ourselves. Art which comments from the perspective of an outsider free from the clutches of a controlling society.

Whilst it’s easy to write and think in these ways of liberated human freedom, it is more complex to walk this walk. And it’s complex because our whole conditioning becomes like an instinct, in how we react to circumstance, or at least it feels that way to me. But in my life and experience as an artist looking for some dependable truth and integrity, I was not able to find it within the art world or on the streets I walked upon. Ultimately this approach to creativity has led me to where I am now, a place perhaps of greater isolation where I feel able to express myself with some clarity and purpose. A place which feels true to my own nature and where my wandering thoughts have a purpose.

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day 🙂

 

 

THE ART OF SILENCE

Last year I began to feel overwhelmed with the psychological pressures of being an artist. I felt that the nature of my philosophical journey was in conflict with the values and systems of society. I knew that in my struggle to survive (on a material level) as an artist I’d been compromised,  to a point where I struggled to access clarity of thought and an understanding of art. My identity was compromised and I knew I was lost on a deeply personal level.

So about a year ago, I stopped making art and started labouring in the building trade, I needed time out to reflect on my thirty-three years of making art. After what had been a bruising life I didn’t know if I would ever return to making art or if I needed to make art again. You see, art had brought a lot of anguish and pain into my life, and was becoming a form of  unwanted masochism. However on reflection I do feel this was compounded by the poverty and struggle on a material level, poverty which had become hard to bear in the midst of an affluent society.

That was ten months ago and now I feel somewhat cleansed by my time in the wilderness. I feel more optimism now though my future as a practicing artist is still very much in the balance. I am currently making a few pieces to order but still cannot see a way forward or a direction which would satisfy my curiosity. Although I can feel a slight awakening in my thought patterns as I look to making my next steps towards some form of artistic expression.

I feel that being an artist is a privilege, it’s allowed me to awaken on many levels and to explore from the base line of my humanity. Exploring innate connections and meanings for existence through creative expression, finding ways to recognise humanity beyond the confines of society.  However this freedom of the creative mind is a blessing and a curse, because on a practical level there is often no place in society to share the spoils of this journey, beyond the parade of vanities. Though I do feel at times that the actual art I produce is like a by-product of a philosophical journey, objects without a secondary purpose, cast aside like stepping-stones in the wilderness. Art which does not need to exist or to be shared.

As I explored options open to me as an artist within my society I felt unable to identify a significant outlet or venue for an individual artist following their intuition. Yes I could show saleable work in the private galleries or I could tailor work for a more conceptual pallete. But can I make whatever I want as an open expression and share it (in a significant venue) without it being poured over by those who assume knowledge, understanding and responsibility. As I tried to plot a path I began to feel that the art world is like a prison in which artists are expected to perform within the confines of contemporary agreement and tradition. Furthermore I felt that the history of art is like a construct based around a western canon of thought, and that how we see art is dictated by the establishment. Art collected and imprisoned in grand mausoleums has no attraction to me either as an aspiration or an experience.

What I now feel, is that art is about a personal expression which has no boundaries. It is not about being good bad or indifferent, but just a form of communication and expression. I also realised that the whole patriarchal notion of the masterpiece is merely a reflection of societal hierarchy. You see art could be owned and valued and even the framing of work within institutions gratified the aspiration within society. The rich and famous had something to boast about, art became a commodity and artists were encouraged to become performers looking to dance to the tune of the elites. And it’s here where I feel that human expression is subverted as we the artists look to survive with one eye on the prize which success within society will give us.

Artists are leaders not chasers and yet I was aware that I was always chasing the carrot even though I felt I was true to my creative conviction. My issue was that art exists in society within the realms of the art world and its hierarchy. So when the disappointment of never catching the carrot finally hit me I realised that I was a prisoner to a system which I didn’t believe in. Like a hamster caught in a wheel, I became exhausted and fell out, finally waking up. My ambition had gone and my ego was bored so I looked at human expression from the perspective of the broken man, who I’d become. And I realised that art is anything and everything but more than anything it’s about a human freedom which can’t be caged or owned.

My process over the past few years has been one in which I deconstructed my whole belief structure in art and life and discovered a more personal truth. A truth about human expression beyond vanity and ego, a truth which exposed the raw nature of expression beyond a need for the ping of reassurance, acceptance and acknowledgement. And this is where I am right now, ready once again to start over as an artist, looking to express my feelings about the connection to an existence on the surface of a planet.

Thank you for looking and have a great day 🙂

 

GERDA KAZAKOU

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