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The Sobering Realities of Ordinariness

November 5, 2014

622It’s not my party, so I’ll fly if I want to

The reality of being an artist is about as tough as it can get, yes, there is more than meets the eye with this glorious vocation, a vocation steeped in legendary myths of romantic struggle. It’s kind of ironic that my own romantic dream of becoming an artist has challenged me beyond what I ever imagined and to my limits, but I’m hooked into it for the duration, because there is no going back. It’s a challenging existence of perpetual struggle, both within and without, a life full of insecurities that drags you over the coals, both mentally and physically. Because when you are dealing with the unknown in a discipline without absolute outcomes, you can only try to hold onto the shifting beliefs of the moment. Sometimes the shift in your conscious outlook traverses such a vast chasm that you can spend years in a virtual wilderness, desperately seeking some form of solidity where you can rest and hold still for a while. A solidity that could take the form of an accomplished conclusion in thinking or a profound artistic statement, which would ratify the thought process and take the heat off.

I find the fundamental contradictions of objectivity and subjectivity working in tandem rarely balance, yet their discord leads to invention and statements in time, however the shifting sands of time are constantly engineering new circumstances. The changing landscape of our reality is complex and dynamic and requires a level of flexibility in approach. You can take nothing for granted and the only comfort is from a self belief that you can juggle and perform under any circumstance. So you learn to cope with failure, with success and with neutrality as you strive to find the confidence to be bold and reach that  little bit further into the unknown. In chasing the profound, life veers from the expectations you grow up with into an unexpected world, where you can’t take anything for granted, perfect for raw creativity, I say. Because it forces you to dig deep in a relentless struggle to find your own purpose, to construct your own values and language, in order to attain a form of realisation. It is a life on the edge and there is always a danger of falling, but there are great heights that tempt you into taking the risks. However these heights do not always correlate to success and prosperity within societies framework, because of the unconventional nature of freedom. (In using the word freedom I’m really trying to encompass the free gathering of knowledge, wisdom, intuition, connection, self realisation, expanding consciousness and discovery  through an open expression). Just how much wisdom I attain is of course is relative to my unique set of circumstances and there is no benchmark for this beyond how I feel within, because it would be impossible to define with absolution any great universalities, to quantify and grade creativity. This is my truth and I cannot pretend it to be any different, because I’ve fought too hard to extricate myself from the tangled web of societal life, to break free from convention and the formulaic patterns of perceived wisdom. I’m lucky because I can express relatively freely through my art and that outlet is enough to form a practical reason for being in the pursuit of a personal quest.

When I write and explain my purpose and beliefs I rarely reference any other people or works and this is because I chose to live my life as I saw fit, I didn’t want to follow in the footsteps of others, I didn’t want to  burden myself with academic texts or follow myths let alone take false idols. No, I just wanted to do it my way, to play out my own life using my reactive capabilities, my intuition and my love of life and nature. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? but I’ve taken one hell of a battering and bruising for my approach, but I have survived and feel very much vindicated by my approach. In this eclectic world I feel quite unique as a free-thinker and a man who is realising something that is profound in my own life, I feel more than capable of original art and most importantly I feel connected to the essence of my being. I have both strengths and weaknesses but  above all I can accept the ordinariness of myself and the simple state of my humanity. I am proud of my achievements and who I am but I’m equally aware of the great flaws that I have on every level which is why I fight on to further my human potential, in the way that I see fit.

621

I would say that my art is a complex expression of thoughts, a multitude of thoughts derived from deep contemplation expressed through drawing, writing and sculpture. I take nothing for granted and my sensory capacity is at best variable in the complex mix of intuition, opinion, logic and observational bias. I believe my creative process is often about a compression of the broadest possible lateral thoughts, in which the clarity of assertive decision-making is required for the creation of art. Ultimately the process of doing comes down to the mechanics of action, with drawing, the transference of what is in my mind, through my arm is crucial to the process and it is far from easy. Sometimes I am incapable of drawing, unable to make the necessary connections, caught up in one of lifes webs into restriction, sometimes for obvious reasons and sometimes for mysterious reasons. This process of drawing demonstrates to me how I feel within and it confronts and challenges me to a point where I have to be deeply honest with myself in order to explain my intent. So I’m not drawing to impress anyone, but instead looking for a profound connection that will consume my being into a total commitment, where in that moment the drawing means everything. A sacred engagement that will define a portion of my truth. And I can write this without fear, because I have earned the right to do so, because through my endeavours I have fought to attain deep connections and I describe what I feel, I don’t invent or pretend to understand anything beyond my own experience. My words are my own based on the empiricism that has allowed me to grow from humble beginnings to an even greater state of humbleness. I always championed the unexpected from my early childhood and it has brought me great levels of satisfaction and an approach to art rooted in exploring impulse and mystery.

Through my writing I feel that I’m explaining why art is not just about attractive offerings to the world, for people to like and put on their walls and that the most amazing art may be tragically ugly to conventional taste. But for an artist it is often difficult to pursue the “ugly” options because they are so often dismissed through conservatism. This has been the greatest stumbling block in my life and one that I still wrestle with today, in one sense I’m lucky because I have enough technical ability to make choices and forge a living through the variety that I’m capable of producing. But I also realise that I was not achieving my potential and that too often my ideas were being snubbed out in the early stages, sacrificial lambs to conservatism. Fear of failure in the eyes of the world and fear of being unpopular prey heavily upon sensitive souls and lead to the world being deprived of hard-core art that speaks the truth. Art is almost always filtered through the institutions before it reaches the public, censored through the grooming process that buys artists a ticket into the comforts of the establishment.

623

I feel that art is always under the threat of being homogenized, it should be revolutionary and kicking off, it should be in your face saying wake up, but instead its smothered and controlled because everything has a price. Stuffy fucking galleries that smother art into silent air-conditioned mausoleums, untouchable in their hideous imprisonment, confined to the sweaty air-conditioned environments of hollow rooms that echo the footsteps of the confused. Don’t touch, don’t take photos, don’t breath, don’t fart, don’t you know how valuable it is, sadly this is the bullshit and reality of art in society and it’s constructed through institutional ignorance. So as an artist should I aspire to being a part of all what I see as a falsehood  and if not where does that position me beyond my current place. Art is not there to intimidate, but to empower and educate, to engage us and open our eyes and so that we can live and think beyond the confines of convention. It’s there to touch and feel so that we can engage through intimacy and truly understand the possibilities of being. Artists can dedicate their whole lives to reaching out for something so special and yet it is hidden away in private collections out of greed for investment, vulgarly fought over at auctions in what is deemed newsworthy displays. Artists boast about their work being in private collections and many other foolish achievements because this is what we are conditioned and indoctrinated into following like sheep. Subverted from the truth of our creativity into a display of market led commodity. So much so that the world is starting to forget what art is actually about as the art world is becoming submerged in bullshitand pretence.

There is a clear duality between the actuality of the artist life and the reality of societies sanitized environment where art is offered to the world and what happens so often, is that by the time art is offered to the market it has become cleansed. sanitized by a huge industry of self elevated experts who parade their plumage like peacocks. I would love to work in a public art related environment for about six months to a year, to start working in a gallery space with absolutely nothing and see what happened over a period of time, because as an art event it would show the reality of the creative process in a totally raw way. To start without any ideas or pre-planned agenda beyond art and creativity, no silly proposal or budget, just the risk of letting an artist loose in a public space. Because there is a lack of risk within institutions and art is all about taking risks, people fear for their reputations and so go for the easy route and this applies across the board, both nationally and internationally. Yes I can still have flights of fancy because I have held onto my dreams. 🙂

624

Always Groovy ❤ ❤ ❤

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