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Wild At Art

February 2, 2014

Of Self

I always try to keep this page as an open journal, but there are times when I have to ditch the writing, with my open approach to art it can feel a bit dark at times. You can’t cherry pick all of lifes pleasantries when you explore life through art and the human condition is complex, I’m sure we all have taboo areas that feel best left alone. In openly seeking a personal development through art you uncover who you are and how you feel deep inside and with that come high’s, low’s and in between bits too. I don’t feel it’s about a balance but more of an ongoing journey and when you’re halted in your path you have to find a way forward.
One of the greatest aspects of being an artist (for me) is the choice you have because you have an open road, you choose your destination in your own bespoke existence but with that comes a level of responsibility and a duty to feel relevant to your society. In my own life I’ve struggled to find a place in the world for my work because I’ve never found a place where I feel comfortable showing it, I’ve also never really found any open support beyond commercial galleries, to whom I’m grateful to. Sometimes I feel that the struggles I have are necessary for me to dig deep, because without them I would never have searched in the way I do for the depth of expression that I look for now.
Through art I feel you can almost deconstruct the societal structures through which we operate, beyond the facades and conventions, because the questions that arise are almost timeless. Creativity is historically fundamental to humanity from the earliest cave paintings and I’ve always felt that through art you can if you allow it, feel that connection. I think that connection is fundamental to how I feel about art and why I’ve always struggled with the commercial aspects that seem so trivial. When you are absorbed in the creative process the last thing you think about is a price tag or a venue, because you are lost in an intimate engagement that is complete without any external interference.
I’ve had many discussions with people over the years about compromise and always felt inside that there are ways to produce work that I could fully believe in, but was always minded that a level of compromise was needed. But now I realise that there are ways of working without compromise, but to do that I really have to unlearn much of the conditioning imposed on my life, which is a huge challenge. Much of my writing and thoughts have centred around the issues of art being a commodity, also a reaction to other art and attention seeking provocation within the insularity of the art world, because when art becomes an egotistical cry for attention and recognition, you are performing for the crowd. By looking at these issues I was searching for my own independent approach to art that felt fundamental and relevant to something that I’ve been searching for, for the past 30 years. To produce art that I believe in regardless of time and place, something fundamental to the core of my own humanity, surely that isn’t too much to ask

Another Bull study

I feel I’ve made some of the break through’s that were holding me back as an artist and I can start to breathe once again. It’s so difficult to see through your own self-deception and coping strategies and it takes desperate measures to create change. All I knew is that things were wrong in my life and holding me back as an artist, but I had no idea about what would unfold, all I knew is that things had to change for me to feel at one with my existence. I think the deconstructing of my work and self, was a vital part of this process and to write pretty openly about it, is liberating because I’m no different to anyone else and when I speak with people I’m always aware of the unspokenisms we all carry. With art you have a companion through all these trials and that helps soften the experience and dilute the intensity, but it still gets tough on an emotional level and in my own life has left me feeling like I’m dangling over the edge.
The bottom line in my life is that too many things were holding me back and it felt like I was caught in a complex web that forever neutralised my possibilities. As a sculptor you learn to see the world in a rather complicated three-dimensional way and in my self-analysis I gradually uncovered a very complicated picture of how I was held back and it was through so many circumstances of my life both current and historical. I became aware that I couldn’t move forward in a significant way unless I dealt with these issues and set myself free to explore life through art in a way that I truly felt came from the core of my being.
What held me back could be felt every time I picked up a pencil as my arm would tighten with the anxiety of expectation and the sheer weight of expectation crippled my sense of freedom, now I understand why. I often mention proudly that I made over a thousand drawings last year which I keep under my bed well protected those drawings set me free, I may never show them and I may choose to destroy them because they stand as a symbol of my freedom to do and explore what I wanted without any weight of expectation. They are not a product and the aim is not to impress or market, because they exist as a gesture of open creativity, my true art and my biggest lesson to date in self-awareness and the importance of art beyond imposed constraints.
So now I continue with my art and I realise that my life will never be easy, because I enjoy the challenges and the rewards that struggles bring. I think life is too precious to be mapped out into a long straight road and that moving forward is not about fulfilling expectations of compliance but making your own story. It’s a cliché but I really feel my future is an open book, an adventure waiting for me to just get on and do it. Hell Yeah

 

Behind You

 

BROKEN DREAMS

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