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It’s time to take a breather

August 24, 2014

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Emerging with greater clarity of thought after five years of struggle brings a quiet sense of relief, from being lost in a whirlwind of confusion I finally found my way and a reason for being who I am. Suddenly I feel relaxed and have had three days to just unwind and catch up with  a few chores, I even missed a couple of my daily runs so that my body could relax too. It’s been the most challenging stage of my life’s journey, but also the most enlightening, to finally find the courage to challenge the notions that underpinned my existence in the hope of seeing and believing something new and different. To sacrifice my aspirations and explore exactly who what and why I am has taught me so much and my reward is a deep satisfaction and a sense of pride that I was able to see and fight through my inhibitions to find a sense of freedom. Every single detail and interaction for the last six years has played a vital role in what I feel is a transformation into a more legitimate self-realisation. I feel emancipated from my lifes burdensome luggage and so much lighter on the earth, I know I can express myself without reservation and therefore explore the truth of my being. I feel that my knowledge is born out of genuine intention and anyone who has followed my work for the last few years may have at times been confused with my output. But everything I have produced has been done so with good reason, through a growing  awareness and trust in my intuition, once I’d relaxed into my journey. Finally after 30 years of making art my self-esteem grew sufficiently for me to be able to establish my true identity, the slow process of proving my worth through original artistic statements finally forged a sufficient feeling of self-worth.

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Having realised my identity I think that maybe the ultimate goal for me as an artist is to find the freedom to express myself in a uninterupted  flow, expressing my unique vision and interpretation of my life on earth. And through this sometimes detached from society journey, I hope to obtain a deeper insight into my reasons for being, by developing greater access to what is inside, through listening in silence and becoming attuned through a heightened sensory awareness. In this regard I feel that my art is irrelevant to me beyond the wisdom I gain from the process, though I sincerely hope that those who take the time to consider my creativity gain a little something from it. The realisation that my art was almost secondary to my human development has been a big eye opener for me, particularly as my life long journey was based around the notion that the art object was the pinnacle of human expression. But by being released from the preciousness of art I was able to break the spell that held me under the illusion of the art world and find a completely new criteria upon which to explore artistic expression. The reaction to my work in the context of a wider society led me to the unavoidable conclusion and  realisation of my irrelevance as an artist within the framework of society and while this may be read as failure, it is in fact quite the opposite  and lies at the root f my success in human terms. My work flies in the face of conventional visual languages and I feel it is often misunderstood and remains unseen by the conventional pillars of the art world, because they simply don’t understand the possibilities of subtlety and the quiet conveyance of a deeply spiritual message. I will not shout with my work to gain attention because I no longer feel the need for external interference. However I really appreciate the many people who have supported my work and bought it, to all those that understood what my work is about and there have been many, enough sales to finance thirty years of sculpture. And really it’s down to this support from ordinary people who enjoyed my work that has encouraged me to pursue my art to the level that I’m currently at. My art and approach to life is not a static one and I feel constantly on the move as I react to my feelings and experience and sometimes this can see fundamental shifts from deeply entrenched positions.

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What  this period of contemplation has done, is to move me into a new era of art and I feel it is a development from an aesthetic led expression of intent, that is aimed at my establishment within the art world, to a new vision of art as an individual expression through freedom. So I no longer need to show my work in the hope of it being liked or accepted, instead I must feel a level of satisfaction if my intent is pure and my work is an authentic statement, produced with an objective sincerity. I feel that I have elevated my levels beyond the place where I once thought true art existed and for this I feel that my struggle has rewarded me beyond my wildest dreams and that I have grown in a personal way that makes me feel proud. My self esteem has always been a great issue in my life and I’ve always been filled with doubt and insecurity and no matter how interesting my work was I always felt a certain amount of worthlessness, but this is changing now with the recent developments in my work. I know that my ideas are interesting and original and I at last have the confidence  to express this, both through the written word, orally and most importantly through my authentic language of sculpture.

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Now I hope to rest and breathe because the sheer intensity of the last few years has deprived of so much sleep that I’m pretty much worn out and I need to recover before I move on. My world has changed now and how I move forward is the next challenge that I’m looking forward to, life is for living, living all the way to the end and that is my intention. Life should never be taken for granted and I only hope that I can give back enough to the world as a token of appreciation for the gift of my life. If I can turn around all that has happened to me in my life, the deep sorrow and grief and the constant battle for the acceptance of my art and stand tall, happily offering my work to the world, then I will set an example about the strength of the human spirit. To smile genuinely and understand the struggle without bitterness and to celebrate the beauty that lies within us all whilst locked into the complexity of  a life with art as my unpredictable companion.

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This period has been difficult and tested those around me, but it is through such periods that we discover the depth of friendships and the belief and faith that people have in us. It’s rather like rats leaving a sinking ship and you see the fear that people have in becoming contaminated by being too close to lifes strugglers, however my reality tells me  that personal human growth is born out of adversity and struggle. True wisdom seldom arrives from a life of mediocrity because comfortable lifes require few adjustments, conversely those who spend a life locked into adversity ask questions because they need answers to survive and through this complex analysis of self in search of truths they stand a chance of  gaining greater wisdom. Art in this respect can be the vocation of  the hermit type of creature locked into a solitary contemplation and study of life, in which the knowledge within materializes through the pursuit of artistic expression. In this regard artists often attain great wisdom yet their status in society is often marginalised as they are forced into the confines of society and compromised for convenience. I’ve always been predictably unpredictable and that is how I protect my integrity and I’ve always been like that, I don’t mean to be awkward, it just happens. There is no place for me where I feel comfortable, there is no state of being that satisfies my soul and my agitation has a purpose that lifts me out of stasis and inspires my spirit.

As an artist, pursuing a new direction involves carving out your own niche, there is no ready-made place for you in society and so you have to occupy your own new piece of territory and due to the unpredictable nature of creativity it can lead to an embattled life as you fight for what you believe in. This is why so much courage and strength is needed so that you don’t buckle under the mental battles and strain as your position comes under a constant scrutiny and threat. Eventually you have to accept the adversity and chaos and put faith into your instinct and intuition and see where it takes you. An unchallenging life borders on existence and that is what society encourages, but in my own life I dare to aspire to a state of living out my life with the never-ending challenges.

My relationship with society is complicated, I find it a restrictive and controlling partner, it cares not for my wellbeing so I neither uphold or believe in the limited values it demands from us, which is why I feel compelled into dropping out on many levels.

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