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I’ll make a start by drawing cats

March 15, 2014

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Thinking deeply about subjects amidst the throng of ordinary life can be quite isolating, because analysis necessitates an objective mind and objectivity is very undermining of  the tolerance that pins societies together. A society held together by the turning of a blind eye to much of what is going on and a deep acceptance  that relies on unquestioning existence. In some ways I now feel that life involves a level of compromise and indoctrination that allows us to be blissfully unaware of our unquestioning adherence to societies norms and expectations. In the west we see great freedom as our gift through the modern democracies, but this is far from our reality, in fact I believe it is one of the greatest deceptions of capitalism. A mere illusion of freedom, whilst in reality it’s more like a race or competition that elevates selfish greed to the fore, because our livelihood depends on it and in the hierarchy that forms it can almost police itself. Yet we live side by side with false smiles while the reality is, me first I want my share,  so if I play by the rules I will be rewarded and prosper. So within this society we judge and compare and look down on those who find it hard to gather money and play by the rules. Modern society is so materially driven that we are losing sight of the simplicity of the human condition, what it is to simply be, to understand through stillness what our life is and to enjoy just that. As a creative in my society I have no fixed place and I occupy very precarious positions, vulnerable to the slightest changes, my very survival to work as tenuous now as it was 30 years ago. In this position I am totally isolated and it’s really of no ones concern because each and every one of us is busy in our own lives and there are no exceptions without some form of kudos being attached. Modern communities are becoming fractured and the collective nature of living is becoming more symbolic as our realities require selfishness to succeed. The attitude of, I will help you but there is a cost involved prevails and a gift is seldom an act of altruism.  So we celebrate the rich people of the world as success stories, people whose wealth could feed the world, but instead we are happy to watch people needlessly starve to death in order to hold up a system that is based on greed and the I.  In my life I realise that if  I step out of line I will be punished by stealth and in the end it will be both financial and through the exclusion from the institutions and mechanisms of society that I will be cast into a meaningless position.

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This is so important for me because I have an understanding of the world brought to me through the pursuit of creativity, I have high ideals and beliefs in art and life but I am unable to sustain my life on a practical level with the wolf constantly at my door. It causes me so much struggle and pain through the anguish that I feel, though I soldier on barely limping at times, like right now I face challenges that overwhelm me and ones that I can’t overcome with the resources I have to hand. Some days it overwhelms me like today, my spirit is absolutely crushed and I feel the harsh sobering reality weighing me down, but it will pass and I will summon up the energy to fight on and look for interesting ways to express myself to the small audience that I reach. But for now I have to find a way of making money from my work that feels right, I only pray that I don’t get forced into a period of stasis again where all I do is produce endless editions to merely keep me afloat in a life of penury. Sadly I have never been able to find an answer to living comfortably on a material level whilst living comfortably on a spiritual and creative level and I’m running out of time and options. As an artist I’m extremely proud of my achievements, because I’ve gone beyond what I felt where my limits, both spiritually and intellectually, I’ve seen through so much and my insight to the mechanisms of society has truly surprised me. And it is here in seeing through the structures of the art world that has deeply affected me and caused me to question so much, because it has undermined what I had felt was absolute and changed the core of what I feel defines creativity. I guess it was my lack of success in the art world that really made me question what lay behind the structures and what powered the art world in generalised terms. I could see it was not meritocratic and I was not going to allow my constant rejection to make me feel unworthy or irrelevant. I feel great sadness that I will never realise my vision of a few large sculptures that would be seen by many and that projects that I’ve developed will remain as small models, but I simply don’t have the energy or will to battle against overwhelming odds. Instead now I have to see my small sculptures and drawings as the defining works of my life and be happy with that because at least I will realise my potential, and writing too because I still have a lot to say, just as observations of my existence and though it may only reach a few it’s a gesture.

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So what has this got to do with art and creativity? Well the answer is a hell of a lot, because the same system is the one that underpins the art world with its vulgarity and excesses in the playgrounds of the great wealthy collectors, whose money and values come down to the ordinary level of the man on the street.

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So why should I worry about this? Well because creativity is fundamentally important to humanity, truth and integrity cannot be avoided if you look openly at your society and as an artist you have to express what feels real and relevant to your life and work.

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The big question now is, Where do I go from here? And to this I really have no answer, life didn’t turn out the way I expected on any level and right now I’m pretty much adrift, desperately seeking to find a path that feels appropriate, so that I can find a meaning for my creativity and a reason to continue with the struggle. I guess I never thought about  how isolated you can become and maybe my own ways led me here. It’s going to be a tough challenge for sure but I will find a way to combine all that I have to offer into some meaningful gesture that will satisfy my soul. At least through the shattering of my earlier dreams, I have become more enlightened and my thinking is far more courageous and profound. The sharing of my thoughts has taken a great deal of courage on my part, but is essential to my process, It’s almost like thinking out aloud and they are there to be replied to, or reacted to, by who ever comes across them and that feels good.

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