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Moving on with much to do

March 13, 2014

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I never wanted to write, because I always believed in the visual language of art, but over time, the circumstances of my life forced me into a position where I felt I had to articulate the purpose of my art. Eventually I even felt the need to shore up my own beliefs after the constant challenges that befell my existence. I’ve addressed many of my issues and find myself at the other side of an extraordinary phase of my life, with some valuable lessons learned about the protection of self and ones integrity against lifes corrosive elements. I feel a lot more free now and understand this was a necessary process as part of my evolution as an artist, it takes courage to stand alone as an artist and produce work you believe in regardless of an absolute context and without an actual place for it. At times I’ve had absolutely no support or encouragement, just the expectation that the creation of art is part of some routine discipline that can be taken for granted and in this relationship with the world my art was even used against me. So it crushed my spirit after some low points of in life, but I’ve resolved these issues now and can articulate myself through words ,drawing and sculpture which is great, but I long for the isolation and solitude to work in total peace, something that I took for granted for years before allowing people in, who then disrupted and disrespected my ways of being. I never really understood human fragility and how you can be knocked off course in the pursuit of your dreams and how everything really does matter. To be indifferent to what comes your way only works for so long, because the pressures build and you then have to react to uphold your position and self belief.

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When it comes to creativity there is no doubt in my mind that the whole circumstance of your life affect your work on many levels. You don’t really notice them and you don’t need to because understanding everything is not an option (or even a possible reality), by attempting to control your life by understanding everything steals the magic of creativity and leads to exaggerated contrivance. In creativity you feel and you have to trust in that feel, to nurture it and to learn to respond through intuition and faith, for it is here that the magic lies and where talent hides. I feel I can write about this with confidence because I have always worked this way and it was only in the last few years that assumptions were made that questioned my integrity and relevance, primarily because I refused to contextualise my work within an academic framework. I have always existed outside of the herd for very good reasons, it is in my nature and underpins my whole approach to life and is why I reject institutions, boundaries and conventional protocols. To play out life as a game and fall within all the rules and expectations of society is not an option for the creative mind, a mind that seeks to explore in an openly lateral way, exploring all the possibilities and thinking without barriers and constraints. How else can new discoveries and inventions materialise if we are all subordinated to systems based on convenient conformity. I may be a product of my society and part of a history, but I don’t have to be bound by these factors and limited to the one size fits all notion of populist commodities. Living in times where the whole ethos of modern life is questionable and unsustainable, prevents me from seeing a good reason to perpetuate the myths that are laid down in the corporate kingdom.

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With my strength and resolve back I can’t help but feel a slight resentment to those who patronised and disrespected me for choosing to live the way I do and I hope not to let this part of the artists struggle get me down again. After all it’s only ignorance that leads people to make such naive assumptions and you have to expect a fair amount of flack when you stray from the pack. I would so love to have live my life in utter silence doing what I love, encouraged and supported in my endeavour, but this world can’t offer me such luxuries, instead I have to battle to survive, wasting my energies and gift of life on meaningless pursuits, just to give me the space to work and explore my creativity. Even this writing absorbs my energy, something which I would never have had to do if lifes circumstances had been kinder and afforded me the space to work and live my life . But I have to accept my circumstances, move on and truly hope deep down that my writing will help not only me but inspire others to follow their dreams and find their self belief. I’m fortunate in that I’ve worked through these issues and come out very much in tact and ready to face up to all the challenges ahead in a positive way. It’s been a reality check and a reminder of how important life is, but most importantly I’ve learned to stand up and fight for what I belive in.

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Now I have to move forward with my work, building on my conclusions about what art means to me. I don’t think it will be an easy task from this point because the points of reference that I always used as a guide feel irrelevant as does the whole concept of art within institutionalised frameworks. As a younger person I instinctively rejected artist biographies on the grounds that I wanted to lead my own life and I also kept it light on art theory because I wanted art to speak to me on its own merit and through visual mechanisms. You see in living my life as an artist I’ve never really needed to fall back on any theoretical notion or historical reference to justify or even qualify the relevance of my sculpture, in fact I found a unique space to hang out and live my life. where I could live by my own intuition and feel for my subject. In recently hitting the buffers I had two main factors eating away at me, including personal pressures due to economic conditions and burn out from over production. My recent search has led me to the conclusion that art comes from within, or at least my art does and it’s deeply spiritual in nature through a most natural means. In that sense I have to trust my intuition and feel for what is a natural expression from my connections and not to labour with an intellectual contrivance that may not live up to its billing.

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