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A vision is all I have

April 26, 2014

 

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I never dreamed that I would ever enjoy writing, but it has become like a companion as I go through my defining transitional period.  A transition that is vital to my life and art and one that will bring the answers I need to make my existence feel meaningful. This whole process is based on the subtle nuances that define the sense of self, they cannot be taught and I feel it becomes a requirement to a life-like mine that requires a level of remedial action. I have a notion of the circumstantial experiences that unleashed a necessity for me to look for answers and  gave me a fixation with honesty and integrity. Though I will never truly know all the reasons and I don’t need to because I need to look for the answers that will allow me to stand up with confidence and have the courage to follow my own intuition with belief and total commitment.

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As an artist you enter different realms of being that overwhelm the rational mind and deeply influence the  way you see the world and art itself. I have been in quite an intense mood for a few years which is changing my outlook on life and art in particular. The feelings are so strong that they are overriding my polite and congenial ways and I really can’t put a stop on it, because I’m following my truth as I see it. When I look at the art world I see so much  that is wrong that I no longer wish to be silent about it, the art world has done me no favours and I enjoy making an occassional reciprocal gesture to express the feelings of mutual disrespect.

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When I spend time on my own in silence I experience who I am, I’m able to react, think and create in a way that indicates an awareness of my essence. And whilst it is a detached state from a collective perspective, it is probably the most connected state of being that I experience. As an artist I feel it is an absolute necessity to venture into areas that at first may feel uncomfortable, because I feel this is where the answers lie. My work is not about reproducing imagery through representation, no, it’s about invention through my creative sensibilities which I feel go beyond the constraints of the intellect. My rejection of intellect as a primary factor in art came from some work I did that was of  a counter-intuitive nature, drawings carried out in a random fashion, where my only guide was making work under the guise of an anti-art sentiment. You see sometimes I feel I have to reject everything in order to find my way, which is why the clichés and platitudes of the art world and market really piss me off at the moment, the insidious pressures to conform and make blandly attractive art to sell doesn’t sit comfortably, because that simply isn’t art in my books. I don’t want people to judge my work by whether they would have it in their house or not because that is meaningless to the validity of a potentially profound statement, I don’t want a gallerist to be my judge and sensor my work, showing only what they see as fit for public consumption, because that undermines my credibility as an artist. The decisions of these people can affect your creative output as the pressures build for you to achieve recognition, success and the positive strokes most of us like. Now I’m honest about this and I reject these judgements and I reject the art world and its cohorts, because I’m  a solitary being looking to freely express myself in a world that is like a crazy obstacle course.  Art isn’t about people clubbing together to make a movement, or at least not in my books, I believe being an artist is about standing up alone with the courage to share the vision you hold within, to define yourself through an expressive reaction to your circumstance. Yet we are encouraged to pontificate, contextualize and submit our existence to the confines of the establishment. Well I say bollocks to that and if I can’t stand up and make art that I believe in then I’m no artist and I should just go and do something else.

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I struggle with the idea of subjecting work to the critical analysis of others, because it creates a dynamic that subordinates my position and credibility, on what is in essence a subjective analysis based on another’s life experience and socially engineered state of being. I have (as you may have guessed) no respect for authority just because it is there, but I do have a great deal of respect for life and those that earn my respect and in that sense my position is not one of arrogance.  I feel like this because I have lived  a life in which I have touched on many profound notions and on human terms I feel that I’ve already far out weighed what I felt was my potential. And I feel this because through my experience I’ve discovered concepts beyond the parameters of my conditioning as my mind continues to broaden. My reality is that I could only ever truly be me (if I tried hard enough) and explore what was within the bounds of my soul, which I have proudly and to the best of my ability and as always I face down my challenges and look for a positive way forward with an individuality of purpose. Being honest with myself has been my greatest challenge and still is because my life has left me feeling like I’m caught in a web and my struggle is ongoing each day I try to wriggle free and each day I inch a little further forward.

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Through my art I have come a long way, but it is not far enough, I still have a profound lack of confidence in who I am and the work that I do and I know that because I have the courage to be honest with myself and I feel it on a daily basis. I feel it when I draw and I feel it when I write, I feel it in company and I feel it when I make observations. It is by no means debilitating in any way but it’s enough to motivate me into doing something about it, so that one day I will be free to work and live in the way I know is right for me. It is through my work as an artist that I’ve been forced to look for a greater meaning to my art, a meaning beyond commercial success and critical acclaim, where my art stands alone as a statement that I made because I wanted to. All I ever wanted to be was an artist with a vision and to portray life the way I see it, without the worry of contemplating the reaction to my creative flow. The key word here  is “vision” another one of my favourite words because my vision has been subverted time and again over the years by external influences that have plagued my life. And the truth is that these movers and shakers never truly cared beyond meeting their own agenda and as many artists I felt like a pawn in their questionable process. I always understood what was going on but was powerless beyond my silence, I needed to be accepted into the fold in order to survive though I could not swallow the poison and sacrifice my creative spirit. I never realised how near to the brink of oblivion I would come before my instinct kicked in and halted what felt like a terminal decline. In the end it was almost like mysterious whispers from the world (or universe) that finally woke me up and slowly but surely I’ve risen again to take what I feel is my rightful place, as an interesting artist.

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They say every cloud is lined with cold water and my cloud contained just enough to wake me from my slumber and is giving me the chance to realise my vision.

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