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Art without Art

August 30, 2014


I’ve been under the weather for a few days, it’s a UTI, probably the result of a lodged kidney stone. It’s not bad, but enough to have given me a fever, a delirious night and a few days without food, I tried drawing but didn’t have the energy so I wrote in my sketch book. But today I feel a bit better and hope to eat and jump back into action so that I can continue my search. For a few days I’ve  been laid up with a hot water bottle and although my head ached, I was able to think about life, to think about it from the stripped down perceptions that the bleak shroud of illness brings. When your body is subject to an infection your priorities and focus  change as you are forced into the harsh reality of  your own existence. Illness acts like a barometer and I feel connected with what could be the worth of my life which is in some ways quite bleak, I prefer good health in honesty, but I can cope with short bouts of illness to complete the picture.

During these days I still felt the level of discontent that rages within me and the frustrations of being an artist in a society which refuses to  give me a voice, in fact the whole situation of my existence from those around me who are blind to what I do and the sheer lack of respect. Though I cannot be so weak as to blame others and have to face up to the responsibility of taking my destiny into my own hands so that I no longer feel like a prisoner. I feel woven into the fabric of a life that is not my rightful one and liberating myself feels so difficult, even after these years of recalibration, there is much to do to satisfy my soul. It is a challenge that I must overcome to find my inner peace and way forward. It is strange how our lives are strewn out of time, phenomenon and circumstance beyond and within our control constantly chip away and add to the sculpture that is our life. As my own life continues I see with a far greater depth than ever before, I feel with greater intensity and I feel the intensity of the torment of  being trapped in discontent. Whilst I am on the whole satisfied with my progress, I realise I have a long way to travel and many challenges ahead.

Sometimes I feel like a pinball randomly ricocheting around in a meaningless arena and at other times I feel like a skittle teetering on the edge of  a fall, but seldom do I feel the calm from a life that makes any true sense. Yet I believe I can find a state where there is a true meaning and I believe I often touch it briefly before being cast out again with a renewed strength, to explore the abyss. In search of what artists search for, which I believe is greater depth and whilst the charlatans occupy the throne the true artists battle it out in the wilderness.

As an artist you carve out your own niche, that is your hand, if you have the courage you play it with conviction and accept the consequences, sometimes there are no takers and you are left alone. Right now I sit at the table alone, I dig deep and throw a few more chips in but nothing comes back. So I’m faced with the reality of solitary self realisation, which is a truly complicated way of being. A life poised on the edge of reason, torn between worlds and realities, possibilities and fate, but deep inside I have a strength to maintain my course, I don’t fully understand my punishing choice though I have an inclination. The underlying reason why, has always been clear, that is simple and my life long belief in the right to live my life in the way that I feel is true in spite of the pressures of social engineering. The fight to have a voice and be proud of it and to resist the pressures of being silenced into insignificance, but to achieve this with a strength and purity of singular accountability. I’ve always been attracted to a more complex order in defiance of simplistic solutions and my approach to art was often through an unconventional approach based around deliberately irrational statements which lead to chaos. A chaos from which I could find an order or a reason and in following this approach, this method was applied to my conceptual developments with equestrian composition. Eventually leading to the uncovering of a vast area of unexplored territory, but more importantly it broke through the layers that shrouded my potential and limited my ways of seeing. In a way my conceptual development remains invisible to onlookers and I believe this is because of my approach and ability to communicate resolved ideas that are taken for granted. Through art I was able to understand my existence on a deeper level and see the potential within for expressing the enormity of infinite possibility, the sheer mind-blowing possibilities that are held within the universe and ourselves. The crazy thing is that to truly feel this and understand the possibility you have to be an outcast, because the system that governs our lives is too strong and forms an illusion that influences our expressions. So constructs of society and convention are just to strong that they can sustain the curiosity of a lifetime, but they are limited.  Whilst all I write is simple to understand and all too easily dismissed, it is the reality of living this life with these thoughts as your driving force that turn it into an alternative reality. A reality that interests too few because it has no capital in a world based around economics and celebrity. The inconvenience of a challenging life in a life of convenience, think about it, I have and it’s why I never wear pyjamas slippers or dressing gowns. Art takes you to the other side, crashing through the barriers of conventional wisdom, it’s here you’re stripped down and often unprepared because what you are dealing with is new and beyond the teachings of any instructor. For me this is Art, it’s a raging passion that is linked to the core of your humanity, it requires passion, love and total commitment, because anything less just isn’t good enough.

So far in my life I have tried different approaches, I’ve followed my true calling, I’ve chased recognition and I’ve reacted cheekily in protest, now finally I’ve found the strength to admit to all I am and return to my true calling again. Maturity and wisdom speaks now after dragging myself through the mire and from lessons learned through the empirical reasoning of my own experience,  it is specific to my own journey but the fuel I need to inspire and light my path. My personal struggle is life long and over the years I’ve offered support and encouragement to many people, it is to these people who I owe a debt of gratitude because it made me want to prove that there are alternative approaches to life and that you have to fight all the way to the end.

I look at success  not in terms of popularity, fame or wealth, but about the realisation and purity of my own being, that in the moment of my life I’m at one with the entirety of my existence, lifted from the chaos and noise of  disturbance, to feel the timeless essence in profound silence. Because there is no language for art, I’m gifted the opportunity to travel freely, without restriction if I can break free of my own enchainment. Don’t you think that possibility sounds amazing, that I can do and feel and explore and play with any ideas that I want to. This freedom on its own is beautiful and life affirming and my only route to finding the meaning I yearn.

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