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Art!!! It’s an Emotional Rollercoaster

May 29, 2013

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Art is both a curse and a blessing, it tests you out constantly forcing you to analyse your humanity and instincts to such extremes whilst punishing you for your empathy. This afternoon whilst working on a piece sculpture I was thinking about that wretched whirling feeling of unbearable despair that you can’t run  or hide from, because it’s you in that moment  and your only hope is distraction or the adoption of a whole new train of thought, or some form of escapist crutch or substance.  In my life it’s not something that I have experienced many times but enough to learn vital lessons in disciplined thinking and the conscious overriding of it (Come to think of it I have experienced it quite a lot actually).As a younger person I sometimes had to deal with the aftermath of self harm with a young woman when I had no real understanding of the emotional despair she felt, I now understand that it was only through the distraction of physical pain and suffering that she could be released from her despair but I can’t go back and say I’m sorry I didn’t really understand because she is no longer on this mortal coil. I am still haunted by these experiences not from a position of regret but from the emotional scars it left within me, my eyes were opened into a world of emotional pain, after all she was my sister . It’s tragic how people suffer a life-time in silence because they are unable to express themselves with confidence and through fears of judgment and all the other societal pressures. Perhaps just stepping out of lifes fray taking a deep breath and a walk, or even a chat with a considerate friend may be all you need to get things back into perspective. In my own life I only need to go outside and look at the sky to remind myself that I am just an insignificant speck on a huge planet hurtling through infinite space.

holy ghost

Right now in my life I feel quite scarred  on an emotional level and hope that with time I will be able to heal the wounds left by the tragic deaths of my two sisters and my heart-broken mother. Even though it’s been over twenty years since my first sisters life was taken so abruptly. The recovery of my optimism and joy is something that I’ve vowed to work on as a tribute to my family and a celebration of all the goodness in my earlier life.  I will know by my work when I’ve made progress because the unmistakable appearance of joy will reappear and I really need it to, if not for any other reason than to give my children an optimistic launch into the world. I know that I will have to make a huge concerted effort something that I have only just realised in terms of lifes bigger picture and making things happen. In the past I’ve had a tendency to sit tight and wait and wait and then wait some more but not any more. If you believe in something you just have to go for it, fight for it and just keep on keeping on till you get there, it’s a cliché but better to have tried and failed than never tried at all.

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I don’t know why but I feel compelled to explore beneath the surface of polite communication and convention to further understand my reality of life which is why I become locked into certain tracks of thought from where  I don’t seek neat or congenial outcomes. In my experience I have found reality to be deeply complex and variable with few absolute answers to the many questions where conclusions often become obsolete through constantly evolving thought. There is something gritty about life, we’re not perfect in any way yet we aspire to neatly packaged everything, my reality of making sculpture drawing and writing is all about an emphasis on a journey of exploration where nothing is perfect but everything is human. There are mistakes on every level, my thinking is biased and I’m not beyond criticism (by any means) but I do believe whole heartedly in what I do and that I am a credible artist with some interesting ideas and concepts fuelling my endeavour. However it is an isolated position that I occupy and I have to draw on a great inner strength to continue in the pursuit of my beliefs because it is very much a solitary journey. I just always feel that there are so many unaswerable questions out there and no real quick fix solutions, we are after all defined by our actions and approach to life.

companionship3Feeling the changes

When I was younger I used to believe that things happened for a reason and that karma played a significant role in life but I have to admit that I have come across no evidence to back this up and thus believe differently now. Though I do believe that you can learn something from most of lifes experience and that we are shaped by our experience but it is crucial to make conscious and practical judgments based on cummulative/empirical knowledge and experience (as long as you keep an open mind to other possibilities). In life you can lead by example, kindness and generosity go a long way but I have also come across unexpected darkness in people, we live in a competitive world and if you expose too much of your soft under belly people may just take advantage. So now expecting the unexpected is a difficult one for me, I think that we judge others based on our own set of values which leaves us open and unguarded at times. The next picture is of me with a cat and it shows a caution in my eyes for the cat is an unpredictable creature just like any other creature.

four legged friend

And finally that brings me to today, struggling with a deadline and full of cold making another crazy sculpture to go in this cazy world

No34Oh what fun

6 Comments
  1. Thank you for sharing this, such emotional words and heartfelt words. I agree with the “emotional roller coaster” statement, I always thought art was something I did as enjoyment (which it is) but when I got more into my practice I discovered just how emotive and all consuming it can be, stirring up all sorts of emotions and periods of time where you are completely concentrated on the task in hand, or others where you are quite distracted and lots of other things feed into your work.

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    • Thanks, I was in two minds whether to post this because it became a bit personal, but sharing it seems to help in a funny kind of way. I just feel passionate about the truth of our lives, I feel our strengths and vulnerabilities define our very humanity and writing openly about it is quite liberating (and a bit scary). It’s the same for me with concentrated periods of work followed by the distractions of an over active mind. 🙂

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  2. Nancy Newberg permalink

    Eoghan,
    You are a person of many talents and feelings, a very hard working man who is totally committed to your trade/work/art. By sharing yourself like you do you will gain the respect that matched your style and art / sculptures, etc. I find you to be a very terrific human, and a pleasure to have shared some posts with you. Your caution with the cat is very wise 🙂 Please enjoy the sunny days 🙂 Nancy

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    • Thanks Nancy, I really appreciate your kindness I’ve been a bit under the weather with flu but I’m bouncing back.
      Take care Eoghan 😉

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  3. Scilla Sayer permalink

    May this lovely Sunday morning replenish and nurture you, Eoghan. I hope that your emotional and physical ‘weathers’ are both more settled and comforting than the storms of the past week. However, I have to say that my soul self is deeply grateful to you for your courage in giving yours such an authentic voice in your last post. I am hoping that you feel well enough and are still available to meet on Wednesday as it will be my only opportunity before I return to Tasmania. It feels like such a privilege for me to be given this opportunity and I hope it will offer you some appreciation and encouragement in the taxing pursuit of your life’s purpose – which is one I think is so very valuable, especially at this time of turmoil, transition and potential transformation. I look forward very much to hearing from you about time/directions etc in the next couple of days. Scilla

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    • Hi Scilla, I’ve emailed you at last (sorry for the delay), I was working to a tight deadline and got a touch of flu and had to spend every waking hour making up for lost time. Everything’s back on track and I’m looking forward to your visit, thanks for your warm comment 🙂
      Eoghan

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