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The Art of Love and Devotion

February 14, 2015

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I view my art as an act of love and devotion, an absolute commitment that gives a value to all that I make and because of this I feel it deserves my utmost respect. So yes I do feel precious about what I make and if I don’t, I know there has been a failure, not so much with the intent but more the practical applications. It is because of my absolute commitment that I take the time to review my progress and fight my way towards expressing what I feel is satisfactory and worthy of my commitment. Yes there are times when I take myself too seriously and yes there are times of great despondency, but I’m always faithful to my art and am prepared to go that extra mile and explore the possibilities. It is a most complex symbiotic relationship which is inescapable and goes far beyond the constraints of commodity, because it is focused on all that matters to me in my life. In a nut shell this is why compromising my art for the whim of others is too high a price for me to pay and why I must be the master of my own destiny.

As an artist I follow my job description, it is a description which invites me to offer a window into life from my perspective, which in turn gives me a licence and a duty to freely explore. Because of this I have a great deal of choice to express what I feel is relevant and I have a duty to be honest with myself and with my art. There is no trickery or cunning in my approach and my art is on the level, to the point of questioning myself to virtual destruction, because I don’t want to play games with my art. likewise I will question the structures of society, the institutions and the governance that dictate the conditions of my life and from this I will express my thoughts and feelings openly, in any way I see fit.

This current phase of my life is a clear reaction to what has been a  life in which I was inevitably groomed into a system that is based on assumptions and sometimes even secrecy and lies, a system that subvert’s art into homogeneity in what is really the conspiracy of a conformist agenda. However  we are all groomed through the social engineering of the societies in which we are delivered into. The problem now being that in this day and age of open communication, it is hard to accept these limitations in an expansive world. Back in the eighties when I left college I was unceremoniously dumped into the world and had to fight my way from what was at first, a total isolation, slowly I built a network to deliver my work to the public gaze, but my world was limited. Hard to imagine life pre computers, mobile phones and digital cameras, hell it was pretty primitive and the options where limited. I was locked into that world for a long time, desperately hoping the system would elevate me out of my obscurity. But it never happened and although I continued to evolve as an artist I just couldn’t break through and find any backing to encourage my endeavour.

It’s curious to me as I look back and I wonder why I willingly accepted my circumstances as the absolute world in which I should operate as an artist, even though I always knew I was in the wrong environment. In one way I always felt I had to prove myself before I could assert myself in the world, something which I believe I finally have, but now my ambition and desire has been replaced by the necessity to produce art of a more profound nature. And I wonder why it wasn’t untill the age of about 48 that I truly awakened to my possibilities and fought through my inhibitions in order to set myself free as an artist. I guess this was my tough training ground that would eventually test me to the max and finally deliver artistic expression worthy of my commitment and belief. That testing ground or my life has been one that delivered great joy followed by tragedy, to indifference before a spiral into the despair which provoked the reflex of my  intuitive awakening.

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My art is following a more hardline approach, one  that is reacting to the dilution of contemporary art, one in which I feel a duty to explore the fundamental impulse to create as an expression of being, with a distance from the conceit of contemporary life. The word conceit is a strong one in this context and I used it because I believe the smug satisfaction of prosperity is disconnecting us from our core as we bask in the indulgence which we feel we deserve. And our wealth comes at a price on many levels including the exploitation of millions of lives.

The problem is that art occupies such a place within society that it acts like a barometer and exposes a stark reality of  contemporary life and as an artist you need to look behind the polite veneer and assess the reality. From the standpoint of an artist you start to experience the possibility of your free spirit and then you feel it being crushed and the clipping of your wings, because a society has requirements that are threatened by freedoms. It is a hideous position to be in for an artist and one that often demands compromise, but a true artist is not a person who compromises which is why there are so few of them.

The art we make and show has a place in all the tiers of society, yet it is controlled by the upper tiers and there is a lot of cronyism, nepotism and jobs for the boys as you would expect within the tightly controlled western establishments. This very fact compromises artists because to be a part of the club you have to move in the right circles and conform to the etiquette of institutional dogma. In fact I’m only just learning, that for me to be the true artist I aspire to be, is only obtainable by sitting alone at my own table, where I can remain untouched and untainted by aspiration and inclusion. Where I have nothing to prove to validate my credibility and where my values lie embedded in my humanity and not through the projections of  false values centred around the invented economy. The economy which rules our lifes and segregate’s us through our financial status, an economy that has no bearing on the reality of our humanity because it is a man-made invention that blinds us all.

So as an artist I see the corruption of society, the total lack of meritocracy and the pretence of democracy, yes my window to the world is not one that makes easy viewing, but I’m not going to become a conceited fool who pretends that everything is wonderful just so that I can get on in life, indulging in meaninglessness. Neither am I going to fully concentrate my energies into the negative aspects of society, because life is still beautiful to me in spite of all the issues that fall into my path. However all that I find beautiful and meaningful has nothing to do with money and commodity a bit like that crazy song “the best things in life are always free”.

And so in my art I try desperately to represent what I feel is my truth and so I use imagery in different ways, funnily enough beauty comes quite naturally to me and so I battle with myself and almost dare myself into darkness knowing full well that my salvation lies in beauty. I can only dance with the devil for so long before he takes a hold of me and I come running back to the arms of  the beauty of life itself. A bit like beauty and the beast, with all that lies between, the infinite states of being that broaden our experience of living into the amazing feast of possibilities.

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Onwards beautiful people ❤

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