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A life drawn out in art

December 11, 2014

 

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Throughout my life I have looked to living with my eyes wide open in the pursuit of a greater level of self realisation. My progress has been slow as I evolved in my own way and in my own time, slowly taking responsibility for my independent reactions and direction. Now many miles down the road I think the stark reality which I now face would simply have been too much for my younger self and I would have become lost in the enormity of the challenges which now face me. But with age and experience I find that I can cope better with the utter bleakness that soul-searching can bring to my conscious thoughts. My purpose and reason is a search for a meaning beyond the societal hierarchy and rationale that underpins the conventional customs and accepted wisdom of contemporary life. Nobody could ever answer my questions and satisfy my curiosity, which led to a much deeper search through my creativity. In my creativity I found honesty and sincerity, but in society I found a tangled web of deceit and half-truths, a society held together by a common agreement to accept the status quo through convention and conditioning. An arena where we play out our lives by conforming to a diluted state of consciousness and being, gently does it 🙂 , in case we expose ourselves to the truth and uncertainty of our existence. It is a life which requires the adoption and acceptance of a role through which we find conformity and in that sense our lives are censored and honed to comply with what is assumed to be a common good. But society is flawed and we are led through a hierarchy that is far from altruistic and not always working towards the benefit of our individuality. This is the arena in which we all perform as we live out our lives, I as an artist do the profession proud by conforming to the rebellious nature and tempestuously moody stereotype, driven to the edge by the sheer incongruity of living a marginalised existence .

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As humans we are mammals and subject to the wild impulses of any living creatures, yet through a thin veil of civilisation we are expected to adopt a civilised demeanour and play out our lives by the rules imposed through societal etiquette. However these rules don’t suit everyone and if you fall outside of them, your life can become very difficult through the pressures which come down to bear upon you. I know about this because I could never find a place within society and have spent my life struggling to come to terms with being a dysfunctional member of society. Even though I have maintained my connection to the mainstream it has been an immense struggle and I have withstood all the pressures to get close to realising a creative potential that I have always felt within. Even now I feel the need to prove my worth as an artist in order to justify the freedom I engage in to express myself, to prove my credibility.

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Freedom is upon me now to a much greater extent, though my life is compromised through the struggle to survive, but I can cope with this because it grounds me with the reality which we all face in our daily lives, no matter what we pursue. But as for freedom, it’s a vast and splendid actuality, though it is also daunting and frightening, because you are solely in charge of your being. Fully accountable and nowhere to hide, it is the stark reality in which you sink or swim as an artist, as you face up to who and what you are. Seeing through the lifetime of conditioning and indoctrination in the pursuit of all that you think you may believe in or know. A world without certainty or false comforts in which inner peace comes through self realisations and the genuine reassurance of connectivity to the essence of existence. To feel who I am in a genuine sense, through an understanding of how I feel in the stillness of my own being, teaches me about respect and through self-respect I can move forward with dignity. And through my own work I try to show the utmost respect for art on the deepest level, in spite of all the problems which that approach has brought to my life. But my nature will be forever defiant as I continue to pursue what I believe in, as opposed to creating for convenience and social acceptability.

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One of my biggest fears had been that I may not realise or actualized my possibility as an artist, which was based on my own personal lack of confidence and my inability to enforce my will upon the direction of my own life.

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The drawing I do, is about the exploration of my creativity and imagination. An exploration of new and original ideas that I feel, in the main would make interesting sculpture, however it is very complicated because there are potentially so many ideas and making an objective choice about which ideas to develop, is currently beyond my grasp. The situation is that as an artist I have had very little support and have always led a life of subsistence, which has resulted in a life subjected to an overwhelming amount of sculpture production. For years I’ve felt burned out and though I manage to still produce work, the reality is one of immense struggle that soon overwhelms me. So I draw and realise my vision through simplistic lines, which satisfies my creative zeal and I touch the heights of my possibility gently onto paper. Just imagine a head full of ideas and the tremendous enthusiasm maintained over thirty years, a belief so strong that it fuels your whole life and in return for this endeavour is an unyielding silence. A void and the only motivation lies deep within, that feeling of worth and belief that my ideas have substance.

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Now I do what I do without expectation and I lead my life how I see fit. I no longer even consider myself to be a sculptor because by dissociating myself from this label I feel alleviated from the burden it has proven to be. At times in my life I have been a prisoner to what amounts to a production line and the damage it has done to my psyche is lasting through association.
Fortunately my optimism and feelings of hope and above all my ability to rationalise the irrational circumstances of life allow me to continue exploring my ideas, although in a somewhat more tempestuous way.

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But my drawings are taking me forward and with each drawing I learn something new and understand composition that little bit more. I’m also aware of my weaknesses and the restrictions that I fight to free myself from. In some ways I think I can be a bit too harsh with myself, but extracting our creative possibilities is complicated particularly in the search for originality.
I don’t think that I will ever see art as a commercial pursuit, instead I like to think that it is part of a collective human experience. A sharing of ideas through an expansive connectivity that furthers humanity, which is why ownership and copyright and selfish acts of ego really piss me off. So when art becomes owned by the corporate sector of society, it is in trouble because it becomes a circus. As an artist it is hard not to be consumed by the system and by expressing my views openly it helps me to maintain my integrity and belief. Mainstream art is very much diluted by the commercial pressures and is in fact the reason why art is becoming conceptually weaker as it is led by style as opposed to substance. It’s all about the wow and the truth is that there is a lot more to life than wow’s and the misleading credibility of popularity. The very act of making art from the humble perspective of an ordinary state of being is the essence of what binds and connects us to our own lives, a reality that is about  the vulnerable truth of our existence as we a live our lives in the shared world.

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When I analyse my own work and ideas, it is with a brutal objectivity. This viewpoint clouds my vision through my attempt at impartiality and takes away the benign pleasure of enjoying my work in a casual way. I see the faults and usually a way beyond my current position and level. So whilst I may enjoy the progress that I’m making, I can take no comfort or pride through enjoying or prolonging static moments. I’ve grown to understand that my art is a continuum and not a source for shallow indulgence, which is why I search for meaningful content.

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In sharp contrast when I look at other imagery, I see it afresh and through different eyes, a contrast which intrigues me and often leaves me feeling inadequate. Though when I take time to analyse the work of others, I start to see it with the same level of objectivity that I apply to my own work. This way of seeing is not about being judgmental or biased, but about seeing what is there in the cold light of day. I no longer see imagery through the superlative wowing ways of the fashionable viral consciousness and I don’t get carried away with the tides of euphoria.

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As an artist I try to understand imagery through its substance and so that I can make art of a more substantial nature and what I have grown to realise is that, whilst there are varying degrees of quality, the elevation of art is often based on myth and invention. It’s a complicated point, but one based on seeing what is there in front of you without prejudice. And why this is so important to me is that over the course of the last three years I’ve made thousands of drawings of which I feel are relatively good ideas for sculptures, but none of them stand out to me, Which means that my search for ideas which I feel are the absolute height of my ability, is a questionable approach and one that is impossible to oversee in a credible way. This realisation is impacting on my life as an artist and I’m not sure how to deal with it beyond just drawing my way forward.

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Bye for now beautiful blog world

❤ ❤ ❤

xxx

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