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The Art of Reality

October 17, 2014

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In this chaotic life of relentless distraction I seek a stillness in which to engage with the essence of my being, something which I may touch upon but never can never hold on to. Part of my reality I must accept as a circumstantial given and part of my reality is engineered through the consequential actions of asserting a certain level of free will, a reaction to circumstance. So whilst I may feel free at times my life is actually governed by circumstance, I think this is why I wriggle and fight so much in order to impose a level of free will, in an attempt to realise a stronger identity. I have my own unique area in life which I explore but even this relates to my childhood and conditioning in early life, however the strength of will and desire to produce original art perplexes me, is it fundamental to who I am? or is it a reaction to circumstance? I believe it is perhaps a reaction to my circumstance and that my reliance upon creativity is born out of finding a purpose in life which outweighed any alternative, that and my upbringing, which was immersed in art on every level. I never believed in talent as a valid explanation for great artistry, but instead I believed in the value of hard work and dedication, in this way art is non exclusive and accessible to us all. I believe it is far better that people can be engaged in an inclusive way with the creative process and not intimidated by it.

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Eventually you arrive as an artist after years of toil and choice, driven by circumstance and reaction to reach conclusions that form your reality. This reality  is expressed through the work of the artist, the reality that exposes the character of the individual, their strength, their weaknesses and their courage. Do they stand alone or prefer the protection of the herd, is it about showing off and a celebration of ego or is it the quiet reflection of an introvert. Which ever approach it is, it will be a validation of the character of the artist and will reflect their life experience, how they react to the challenges of life and how they posture themselves. Your whole life experience is reflected in your art, the sibling rivalry,  your relationship with your parents and your status within your peer group, because these circumstances form your character and whole approach to life, which in turn influences your approach to art and how you see and perceive the world. The formative development of  the human being is key to our instinct and ultimately defines our character, even by trying to change you are still reacting to the cause that made you who you are. So are we ever truly free? probably not because we are in part bound by our circumstance, even when we project with falsehood we are just trying to use escapist mechanisms in a bid to escape our reality. There is an inevitable truth in art that you can’t hide from, “the art of reality” and no matter what an artist hides behind they are exposed and laid bare. When you listen to artist’s speaking about their work they tell you exactly who and what they are behind the lines and it is just so interesting.

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My life has been one of insular defiance which was triggered as an eight year old boy when I was subjected to the cultural shock of moving from Edinburgh to a small village in yorkshire. my peaceful childhood was shattered on many levels but my treatment at school by the ignorant small-minded teachers forced me to withdraw. It was about the survival of my integrity and it triggered a defiant streak in me that was uncompromising and disruptive. I was sent out of class daily and spent the rest of my childhood misbehaving at school. At school I was withdrawn and uninterested and chose to spend my time locked into my own thoughts, whilst at home I was relaxed and exceptionally well-behaved. Already I had found through an instinct that I could approach life in my own way and follow a path of my own choosing, I could in fact just do it my way, I understood at a very early age that nothing was absolute and that there are many solutions to the same problem. I always struggled with the format of questions in exams and when I look at my own children’s homework I still see those open questions that are so vague that you would need to write a book to truly answer. The education system failed me and I continued to follow my own path, my reaction to circumstance, but as the years passed my knowledge and understanding of life continued to grow and my desire to expand intellectually has never abandoned me. With art at my side I had a companion for life, a dumping ground for my knowledge and a reason to gather more knowledge and information to deepen my understanding of life. There is no doubt that my parents liberal attitude to life and their belief in freedom had an overwhelming influence in empowering me to put two fingers up to the establishment and to do it my way. In fact my belief in the human right to freely express oneself through the arts can be directly attributed to my mother. She showed me that we have a sacred right to be creative, and that a world without freedom of expression through art music and literature would be an abomination. I feel it is through these circumstances that I felt the desire to dedicate my life to making a cultural offering to society and I have done this to the best of my ability, I’ve tried to introduce a little bit of magic and awe through my work and maintained my sacred contract. In return I’ve been repaid with hardship, but my story is far from over and I still lead my life with great purpose.

❤ ❤ ❤

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