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The slow death of Art

October 7, 2014

no1

Hello again 🙂

I feel that it has been important for me to write in order to discover and find a way forward with my art so that I could believe in myself and my work. I write from the limited perspective of my own life and my thoughts are reactive to circumstance, my actuality is all that I have to go on, just like anyone else. Though with the controlling forces which I feel are endemic in society, it some how feels difficult to communicate in a truly open way. To just say it like it is, can in fact be truly shocking to the structures that underpin the hierarchical nature of  societal protocols. Here within society the artist has no fixed place and is therefore free (if they have the courage) to explore greater levels of truth as they dodge and weave through all the tiers of society, like free radicals.

I think in writing that we are able to share experience and perceptions which add a piece to the great jigsaw and I hope that by sharing my thoughts that it will help those who feel similarly to me. As a whole my writing is about a progression towards freedom, it is often defiant and petulant but it is the only way I can move forward and sometimes when your whole life has conditioned you into a state that offends your sensibility the baggage is hard to shift. I feel art offers you the chance to reinvent yourself and establish a life governed by philosophical exploration and an objectification of being. A state in which you can through detachment, make huge transitions and shifts in perceptions and ways of being. This is made possible through the constant analysis and questioning of everything in a life where you can’t take anything for granted because there really are no absolutes.

I’ve been involved with art all my life and have had great experience, I’ve had great success, conversely I’ve also faced humiliation at the hands of vain egotistical dealers and curators. As always I took everything in my stride and held my council as I tried to develop my work and move forward, eventually the duality of my reality as an artist and my puppet alter ego in the gallery world could no longer work. It couldn’t work because I and my art were being trivialized into a specific niche and instead of expanding and growing as an artist all that was expected was more of the same. The reality is the more compliant you are the less respect you gain, people take you for granted and the master slave syndrome develops and the artist is compromised, subordinated to the system. I as an artist was dying, I had lost the desire to create because I had been smothered by an art industry that has no love for art and no respect for artists. In my opinion a compromised artist is not an artist, because they are not free to explore their truth and for so many artists this is the fate that awaits them. They work hard, find an original style and then the art world capitalizes on the relentless output of similar recognisable works. The lack of respect that I have endured from pompous curators and gallery owners is truly unforgivable and a disgrace to the elitist art world, a world full of pretence, lies and compromised art. I believed in the art world once but as I analysed and made my observations I realised that it was inherently corrupt and elitist and not worthy to represent the values of true artists. A world of vanity, ego and vulgarity which couldn’t be further away from the truth that lies at the heart of genuine art.

no2

I now say that I make real art for real people and my recent exhibition at my children’s school in york was my first gentle step into a new way of exposing my work to the public. The group show was like a pop up exhibition and was very succesful in terms of the number of people who attended. The visitors were engaged and I saw my art working in reality and all the different reactions and interpretations. Funnily enough I saw no people from within the so-called art’s industry that were invited and I find this really telling of an industry that cares little for art, beyond what satisfies their purpose. This may sound harsh but this really is what It has come down to, an industry centred wholly on economics and ego and it is plainly wrong because it is denying the world a window into the world of unbastardised art. So when I say I make real art for real people, that is my intention because I no longer seek to make art to fit within the parameters of  a system that has held me back all my life.

So this exhibition was the first step in a transition, a statement of intent and the kernel of a new exiting and lateral approach to art, which is without imposed limitations. I knew from my little collection of exhibits that I have truly found my way and that these last few years of struggle have been a small price to pay. During the exhibition which was just over a weekend I had problems with kidney stones and infections, so I had to go to a hospital to see a doctor so that I could get some antibiotics. I sat in the centre of a large hospital reception area, alone and shivering with fever I felt the singularity of my own existence. In that moment the enormity of the past three years became so apparent as my guard dropped, every day I have struggled and fought to find my way out of an entangled mess in a world that would prefer muted artists. As the sun shone on me through the glass domed roof I felt at my wit’s end, having given so much just to regain my life long dream. At this point I saw in my mind my two sisters and mother who had always been so important in my life. Tears started to roll down my cheeks as I thought about them and how after all the hardship, grief and trauma, I had finally found my way back to being the artist I was capable of being, yet I can never share it with them. Their untimely deaths always present in my mind and the chaos of coping with grief as I struggled and limped on. My achievement is complicated, but I’m very proud of it, so there’s a bit of pride, I have maintained my part of lifes deal and shown the character to fight back for the belief  we carried as a family and I have marked it out with my art and once again I am free. Free to stride forward once again and set a fitting example to my own children and hopefully shine a light into the realm of possibility.

I will never forgive the art world and the treatment that I have received as an artist and I will never believe in the integrity of it again as I slowly turn my back on that world. My only hope is to erase its meaninglessness out of my life as I move forward redefining my own art and understanding what art is. I feel that by making real art for real people, my art will once again have a true purpose in this world and fulfill my life long beliefs and values.

no3

Images from my recent exhibition 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

3 Comments
  1. Just wrote you a long comment then it got eaten cos I’m on my phone. I think I said, yes, there’s no point trying to get invited to a party that has rules you won’t subscribe to. And then something about the value of taking your work out into the wider world, where art is desperately needed. And that perhaps money will come from unexpected places once you do this, from people who value this wider process…

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    • Hi Tamsin, I think there will be a better way of getting my work seen and I think it will be through organising my own exhibitions and with other artists 🙂 If you ever fancy a joint exhibition in Scotland I’d be up for it now that I’ve sorted out printing and framing and all that jazz 🙂 If you could email me at info@eoghanbridge.com sometime then we can keep in touch about general things

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