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Exploring the meaningfully meaningless contradictions

September 16, 2013


This morning as a result of my drawing I found myself inadvertently looking at the question of what is meaningful and what is meaningless. It is a question I first remember asking when I was a teenager but was never really able to reach any conclusion. When one produces a piece of art one is making a statement which is open to interpretation and it seldom has an absolute meaning. Sometimes the more ambiguous the work is the greater its relevance because it becomes a catalyst for debate because it is without an absolute reason. This thinking came naturally to me as a boy when at times I found that quite random statements were often quite profound and valid even though they were equally meaningless. Now as an older person my mind feels more open and the polarity is ever-widening in my thoughts as I embrace a greater openness in my outlook.
I still don’t know where this thinking takes me with my work apart from freeing me up from more rigid and dogmatic approaches. It is maybe a philosophical area that leads to the creation of a space that exists between polarised approaches to a subject, the room for manoeuvre with creativity and interpretation. One thing that I am profoundly aware of is the need to create without too much prejudice and with an acceptance of chance and the seemingly random, so that art can be created through feeling as opposed to an intellectual construct. Responding to instinct, reflex and reaction has become a strong component of my art and fits neatly with my established practice. The intellectual approach is still of great importance to me though I now feel I have to strike a balance with the inexplicable, what comes from the heart and soul. This approach is quite a complicated one for me but one that I seem to be drawn towards as a natural progression in my search and it was through my personal experience of making sculpture that I felt deep within that there was far more to humanity than I realised or that could be understood or explained. I know that I have grown tremendously on a personal level through my art. I started from a low point with little confidence and low self-esteem and through my work I have slowly moved forward to a point where my belief in self and confidence is quite strong but I know I have much to do because I must find ways of expressing all my views through my own visual language. The true challenge always seems to lie ahead and each achievement is only a stepping stone on that path.
Because art is all that I have ever done my entire life has been mapped out with sculptures that illustrate my journey and that at times is quite comforting because it reminds me of who I am where I started out and how far along that road I am, it also gives me an insight into where I should be heading too.
With art I have always felt there is the opportunity for greater freedom to express yourself in an open way because there are no real rules and it can bring a sense of freedom that can at times be quite bewildering. Because of the ambiguity of perception through analysis, even if you apply one approach in the analysis of your work, say an objectively based one you will probably find opposing conclusions or views of similar relevance. It can at times feel like a game of chess after about 10 moves into a game when the choices become a complicated challenge. Infinite choice is mind-blowing so you have to place your markers within a sphere that you feel is yours and there are no absolutes for me in this process you just have to work your own way through. I think art is a process that offers the opportunity for continual growth if you can remain open enough to let the light in. But key to my future development is the courage to explore the concepts that I have stumbled across to a far deeper level. Art is contradictory, ambiguous, provocative and just about every adjective you can think of, which is why I sometimes describe it as a many splendoured thing.

Sometimes keeping on keeping on gets pretty deep 🙂





The lateral thinking that art requires can be quite broad at times and leads to philosophical thoughts about life that are quite interesting and inconclusive. I find that through making art and thinking about it that I reach tenuous conclusions on a broad and general level. But my thoughts often remind me of the implied outlook of l’etranger because it is through the objective eyes of a somewhat impassive stance. Where Life can be seen as utterly futile and the most amazing gift in the same breath, because conclusive ways of seeing rely on a stance or perspective. Once you accept there are no absolutes you are left with a pretty open mind and it changes the rules, because your awareness enters the equation of your work. In my life at the moment I have allowed myself time to explore a more philosophical approach which has caused an explosion in my thought process which I feel I can only truly comprehend through the passage of time and with greater thought. It feels like a deconstruction  of self (assumed knowledge and understanding) that has opened up a more penetrating way of seeing life and I struggle to articulate it with writing at the moment because as yet I’ve no conclusive thoughts on the matter.  I feel my thinking is outlined by the dichotomies that appear in so many aspects of life, which are often equally relevant contradictions and even with my work I have similar issues where I look to a creative instinct that I feel compelled to justify through an intellectual framework. It is an exciting time for me and my greatest challenge to date, I simply relish the personal challenge of finding my way in every aspect of my life through finding a more relevant way of seeing and I look forward to being able to articulate these thoughts with greater clarity.

the writing on

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