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March 9, 2013

mad world

I’ve always had a dislike of money because of it’s effect on people, of course on it’s own it‘s benign, a mere token of value that is used for trade. But if you don’t buy into the whole money concept it makes your life quite difficult. I have always seen money as quite an abstract concept and been amazed at how it affects peoples life’s and attitudes, it amplifies personality traits and creates a multitude of issues. On a macro scale you only have to look at the western economies and how money fuels exploitation and control, how money can sit in the bank while people starve to death elsewhere in the world and how people greedily hold on to money for the sense of power. But for me the whole bizarre nature of money is that it often doesn’t really exist, it’s just an electronic statement of fiscal assets, so no longer a physical token but a virtual gesture and this is what governs our everyday lives. As the western economy has started to fail through greed and corruption I believe it‘s become more exposed and transparent for what it is. 
So I have always felt that living a life where the goal is to accumulate money is a false life where you have to buy into the whole notion of invented currency and this links in so strongly with what I now believe is my purpose with art and creativity
.  For the first ten years of my career I existed on a pittance and had a total commitment to my sculpture, money didn’t come into it I cycled everywhere and often didn’t even have enough money for a bar of chocolate but I was so happy doing my work that money would only have served to distract me. I did have a slightly different perspective and was never truly able to buy into this whole market economy thing and it’s because you can never put a true price on creativity. Though my unconventional stance on money has created a lot of material hardship it has also exposed the (potentially damaging) effects it has on art and how the market is used as a third party for leverage and control. On one level it’s quite subtle but when you look honestly within yourself you become aware of just how money is stitched into our whole process. At the moment I don’t really want to sell my work I don’t even want to exhibit it, I just want to make things free from any constraints of judgment, yes I want to make art for the sheer hell of it just to enjoy the pleasure of creating something as a free human being. But that‘s a big ask in this world and dam near impossible so snatching these moments is so important because you can see there are alternative philosophies to living with different values and that insight gives me hope.

Now as I work I have freed myself up and hope to continue producing work from the right place and for the right reasons, some of it will be appropriate for exhibition and some wont but I will keep fighting to maintain my integrity and never sell out to indulge in material folly. You get one life and with that life you are given a chance to touch on something special, it isn’t easy and there are plenty of obstacles in the way but I believe it is worth fighting for.


I’m going to have to keep on the subject of money because it’s such a big issue and something that I need to explore further. It’s the influence on peoples behaviour that really interests me, sometimes it induces secretiveness and sometimes the need to brag and show status. There’s no doubt that people look up to rich and successful people and often aspire to such a status, but why is it so engrained in us, it creates a pecking order and a hierarchy based on a level of greed and insecurity. Which is one of the reasons I love making my art because it partially bypasses the fiscal enslavement and offers the chance to have meaning without money. It is such a complex area that I find it really hard to condence my thoughts into a simple thread so I may have to wander with my thoughts.
One of the reasons money really irks me is because its really  a weapon of social control we are all prisoners in terms of the fact we have to gather it to feed, heat, dress and shelter us and for people like me you always find yourself on the precipice of survival which is an edgy place to be. The choice is to follow the money which means selling out or follow your heart and passion which means spiritual freedom with a dash of penury, for a while I was torn apart by this option and all the incumbent pressures but have found my own path again with a bit of writing and a bit of art.
In my life Ive had a curious overview of attitudes to money the kind of strange objective view of an outsider, because that is what an artist is, there is no specific place or space but the one you invent and craft for yourself. And I guess that is why so many aspire to fame and fortune so that they are recognised and celebrated and lifted out of the margins of society but that was never an option for me. I had other objectives, the work and concepts always came first, it’s an ideological approach based on embracing (or trying to) true values and the rewards are subtle. But it’s been very tough and it still is because in the busy life’s of a modern world a quiet voice is only heard by a few.

But Hey nobody said it was gonna be easy 😉

NO12That’s me in the corner

No14Expanding Horizons

redjoker4BUT IT’S A LOT OF FUN

  1. This just about sums it up! You need a lot of faith and commitment to stick to your art when the whole process seems to me to be characterised by being in the dark almost all of the time. Perhaps we all go through some version of trying to hold true, then getting sick of the penury and trying to get money, and then eventually realising that the second course of action means that the whole point has been lost, and so we return to where we started with a new attitude (and, if we’re lucky, maybe a bit of money…). That’s what happened to me, anyway. But you seem to have more or less kept on track the whole way, which looks like a great strength from where I’m sitting…


    • Thanks Tamsin, most of the time I felt on track till about 5 years ago when for some reason my motivation left me and then through circumstance I felt a desperate need to find my way back. I think I’m nearly there now and feel that I have the strength and resolve to push my work on much further. 🙂


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