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When I say “Fuck It” I really mean it

March 30, 2014

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Tomorrow I’ll be fifty-one and though birthdays don’t bother me, my age does for some  reason, I think it’s because of issues in my life that led to living under conditions that suppressed who I am. It is really a story of not coping with grief and leading a life using coping strategies that I was not aware of because I was unable to assert my will on fulfilling my potential. Inside I feel a terrible frustration and when I think back over my life it still pains me, it makes me feel that I did not do the best I could, because I lacked the conviction to deliver it to the world. In my forties I did drink too much and this only exasperated my feelings of disconnection and further numbed my reality fulfilling my personal prophecy of life being a beautiful tragedy. My issue now is how to stop the sinking feeling in my heart, the feeling of deep melancholy that weights me down through the circumstances beyond my control. This feeling is deep and inconsolable because I have too many memories of sadness that I cannot erase, memories that in fact hold a part of me in the past and will not let me go, the personification of  this feeling is highlighted in the memory of my mother after the death of my second sister. Her grief and sadness was inconsolable and broke her spirit and in doing so shattered mine, words will never describe how I felt to see the wounding of  the woman whom I respected more than any other human being . She was called Maisie and taught me the ways of  living the way I do, of exploring great depths of a spiritual and intellectual nature whilst holding on to a profound level of compassion and empathy, to enjoy the endeavour of those with great minds and she gave me the strength to follow the life that I do. To have the courage to live a life in society that is unconventional to an extreme and for the pursuit of  a higher level of understanding in art and human expression and to do this quietly and not as some great egotistical performance. Her humanity and ways of being are at the core of my approach to life and feel like a gift, one of the few things that I can take comfort from. But my mothers suffering is still my most painful memory and the one thing that I cannot come to terms with, though it drives me to prove a point in ways of living and to constantly go that bit further with my art.

 

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To cope with life and keep moving forward, I run every day, I don’t drink or watch the tv, films or news and I spend plenty of time with my kids and stay awake till the early hours thinking, drawing and writing, desperately focused, so that I can reclaim my lost soul. I’m still a little angry with life, but I’m not down and out, I take no shit from anyone now because when I was down I saw to much of the ugliness of human nature and felt the destructive blows. But my process is a gradual one, an incremental rehabilitation into a life where I stand tall and assert my rights to be and do as I see fit. I want to set an example to my children, live with great strength and fortitude in the moment and pass on what I feel is good within the essence of me. Something hat I can only achieve through my art as I look to a continual development of ideas and thoughts as I express myself in an open and honest way. To live a life with true values based on the creation of what excites and fulfills my vision is all that I can do and in doing this my pain is sometimes eased momentarily, but it can never take away the sadness etched into my heart.

 

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My life became a story of survival, a deep search to make sense of it all, to live with an extraordinary set of circumstances where my only weapon and defence is art, a life where in solitude I look to maintain my equilibrium and keep my spirits up in a constant battle where my thoughts are bombarded by painful memories. In this there is an extraordinary contradiction, because my art is thrown into a pretentious art world that seeks to judge the work on a criteria that bears no correlation to the reality of my life, no compassion or empathy, just the vain judgement of a protected elite, that views my heart-felt creativity as a product. Much of the world is soulless like this and it explains why artists take a battering as they hold onto their integrity by a thread. I know the fucking score out there and though I have to play by some of the rules I still say fuck it and keep most of my work to myself, because reality is an inconvenient truth.

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In one sense the world gets what it deserves because ultimately the will of the people maintains a status quo and in art the world is short-changed because of the confines placed on artists, if you really think you are free and that artists are free then you are not trying hard enough, because when you really push yourself you can feel the weight of oppression that limits our lives. People often fire platitudes at me, your lucky, it’s never been so good, you’ve got the choice, stop complaining, not understanding that the reality of creativity lies at a depth where you really feel the restrictions of a society that relies on convenience. Art is not some flippant expression from the top of your head or a shallow outburst, it is a deep expression from the soul, a human reaction to a perceived reality of existence. I’m aware that some artists go much deeper than others and I speak very much from my own perspective here, which is all anyone can do.

 

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