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After so many Rejections you go it Alone and Keep the Smile

November 3, 2013

COLOUR ME BADMy eight year old daughter paints my face with such flair and confidence 🙂

 

For the first time in a while I feel I have to write my blog so that I can clear my mind of some issues that were raised lately, because they are crucial to where I am now. It’s a simple matter about rejection that started when I was nineteen though it’s roots lie in my earlier childhood and my epic struggles at school. It is an area that underlines great differences in society and the alternative perspectives governing people’s lives in a polarised society.

When I was nineteen I left Harrogate college of art, I hadn’t had a good time, I was kicked out of life drawing, kicked out of art history and given a serious talking to by the principle who didn’t like me criticising what I felt was a rather inadequate course. Having said that I was quite rebellious and not conventional in my approach to life and art, in some ways I was already playing around on the periphery of what art actually is and had a tendency to produce work that was a little anti art at times, but having said that I worked hard to produce enough work to make an interesting folio.  But it was at this point in my life that the rejections started, firstly Hull college, then Leeds, followed by St Martins, so I found myself without any college to go to and I remember that hitting me quite hard at the time. Art was all I wanted to do and yet I was being prevented from studying it, but during that summer I heard that there were places to fill studying furniture design at Leeds, I applied and was given a place, but it was like hell on earth for me. I didn’t want to be there and they didn’t want me either, in the end they kicked me off the course but the fine art department allowed me to transfer onto their course and I was so happy, my dream had come true and I was a trendy fine art student. The politics of the department were complicated but I just got on and worked hard for two years working at home too, it was fantastic and I learned so much. I had found my true lifes vocation and risen to all the challenges setting in place a solid foundation for my lifes work. After my degree I applied to various colleges in London to do a post-graduate but met with flat rejections, not even an interview. At this point I made my decision to go it alone because it was my only real option and so I decided to be an artist in the real world, just a man who makes art in the peripheral zone of society, hoping that one day my work would bring some attention. It did bring me success but it was limited and every time I applied for a commission or any kind of work I met with flat rejections which in the end proved to be quite negative  and took a toll on my confidence. There was a reluctance from galleries to show my work and my struggle was epic and testing me even at that young age. But there is a fighting spirit within and as an  utter rebel I kept  going, swimming against the tide and doing it my way “Bridge Style”. You see there was always enough support from good honest people who believed in me and my work,without whom I would have had to give in.

All this detail is crucial to where I am now and my current attitude and guiding principles, because it shaped me, I had to be defensive to protect the integrity of myself and my work. I have fought my way to where I am, every inch of the way and this is why at the age of fifty I’ve decided to stand up and come out of the shadows, to put my work out there in the virtual world and also to write about my experience. Nobody else will do it and why should they, so it’s up to me, I’m proud of my achievements and will happily be judged by my work and ideas.

I don’t feel sorry for myself in any way or bitterness to the system, I only feel focused on my path ahead and invigorated by the challenges of doing it my way, free from any restraints. I’ve always looked for positives to inspire me and give me hope, so that my optimism lasts a lifetime and right now I feel more inspired than I did thirty years ago at the start of my life’s journey. It takes a while for a sculptor to mature particularly an immature one like me.

A SeaTo see the sea upon where you are 🙂

unravelled in a most deconstructive wayWhole 🙂

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