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Looking For The Edge of my Edge

April 16, 2014

reflecting on reflectionReflecting on Reflection

There is a strong thread through my art that links my first efforts from over thirty years ago to my current attempts to push forward. It’ almosts an invisible link that defines much of what I am in human terms and I guess like most people I’m greatly flawed, but I have a belief  and drive to push ahead with an agenda. But it’s an agenda that I can only describe as my life force, and as with life itself there is no clear and simple definition or explanation. The course of my life has forced me to question my life and work, to such an extent that I now find it hard to take the imposition of society and its expectations seriously. I mean I can’t even define a constant reality and if I were to believe in the narrow parameters of society and exist in a herd, how could I then create art with a notion of truth. For example if I believe in all the constructs of society and exist within the prescribed ground rules, would that liberate me and allow me to be a free-thinker.

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My current ways of thinking have evolved over many years of hard work and a lot of thinking, thinking that has led me to question expectation and question reality and existence. Questions about life in society, started out as a simple enquiry, such as is life fair, do we live in a meritocracy and then it moved on. To, why do we allow people to starve to death, why do we destroy so much of the worlds beauty, is greed a good thing, why is religion used as a social control, why is fear used to control the masses, why are some people so rich, why is it so hard to be honest, why is there so much intolerance and bigotry, why do people treat art like a trophy, why does driving a big fat car make people think they are cool, why do we need to be controlled. So the questions kept on coming and there were no real answers that satisfied my curiosity, all I knew was that I couldn’t take a place within the hierarchy on offer and live a happy life, cradled in a society based around constructed values in which I had no faith or belief. To that extent I chose to exist on the periphery, where I have lived my life as an artist, a polite one and never pushy, I worked as honestly as I could with belief  and hoped that life would repay my endeavour with a means to survive. I guess my pay back is poetic justice for a bit of a drop out and one that has made my life a struggle, a struggle that  I have responded to with a great positive drive and one that has lifted me into an area where I’m able to think with great clarity and it has allowed me to construct my own and very clear artistic vision. Ok so I can’t afford to produce the sculptures that I have designed, but at least I’ve drawn out the ideas and resolved the conceptual aspects. Which as an artist makes me feel pretty good because I’ve taken the risks and evolved into ways of seeing and a level of creativity that I’m proud of, admittedly it’s been a long and convoluted journey, but I’ve done it my way and off my own back. The funny thing is that even though I believe in myself the art world doesn’t, could it be that I’m delusional and that my work is really crap and if that is the case does it really matter. The answer to that is it probably doesn’t matter as my creativity is relevant to my own perception and notions of being and in moving forward it is only a belief in myself that I need to develop my ideas further. We are all solitary creatures with our own individual perception even when people collude to gain strength in numbers they are all singular even though sometimes they will speak as one. I do feel that there is a collective pressure on artists such as myself , a pressure from society that attempts to clip your wings as many people are troubled by a free spirit, because they cannot be contained. Some feel threatened and resentful, whilst some feel envy for the freedom, others admire the courage of a life sacrificed to art with all the possibilities, but the curiosity for an artist that is in no way attached to the establishment is a slight problem, because how do we know if they are the real deal without someone telling us.

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So my art takes me to my very edge again and again, with the questions that it raises and the longer I exist in isolation the deeper my questions go, because there are no external constraints that hold me in bondage. As time passes by the questions get deeper and my edge extends further into the unknown with my work in tandem. So my work enters unknown territory and I mark out the ideas not understanding why hoping that my rational mind will catch up, so that I can take comfort and move on further into the depth of my creativity. It is an utterly fascinating journey and not one for the faint hearted because standing on the edge of your edge not knowing what to expect and unable to take anything for granted can be very sobering. There are no absolutes or precedents, just you your rational mind and intellect  working in harmony with the essence of your humanity and intuition in a state where ego starts to diminish. Of course in the busy nature of life I can only enter this state intermittently before I’m pulled out of what must appear like a dreamy state to others.

tower Power

2 Comments
  1. universalpeacepipedreamer permalink

    Hi’ I can really relate to what you are saying. I really have been thinking about something you said before, about misguided ambitions. I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty of ” Eoghan, you know what you should do? ” Or ” You know what I would do if I were you? “,. Those things at least for me, somehow turn into expectations, that really hammer the crap out of the lifeforce. I think some people are afraid of art, because it, calls to them to take of there mask of complacency and conformity. I really too, can relate about the trophy, I have thought, if my art work, were ever “Trophy worthy” how bad that would suck and how to get around it. Donate it to a charitable cause, then all the proceeds go to a worthy cause, but the artwork still ends up in a trophy case. Sorry about the lengthy reply, but I really dig what you are saying, it’s very motivating and I had got out of focus for awhile, forgetting my original intentions, for the world’s expectations.
    Thanks, J.A.M.

    Like

    • Thanks, I find it reassuring that my thoughts resonate with you,this whole process of trying to be honest and throwing off of my shackles has been fascinating and has allowed me to open up with my art. I’m still in a process, but I’ve made great progress towards a more meaningful life and I’m not afraid to express myself anymore. The funny thing is that you should be able to express yourself freely through art, but in practice its very difficult 🙂

      Like

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