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The right road

March 10, 2015

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With my art I’ve always liked to cut to the chase with clean lines and clarity, there is nothing hidden and nothing clever. Just an idea projected into a piece of sculpture or a drawing. Because of this I’ve always had a problem with the art world, because I felt that there is always a demand for more, in the luxurifying of specialised commodities, paying homage to this, that and the other and it has always pissed me off. Pissed me off because it is all a distraction from the art and in my opinion an unnecessary indulgence. Then there is the pouring over technique and all the tedious bullshit as people are groomed into the hallowed brotherhood of institutional exclusivity. In the end we search for what isn’t there and pretend as artists that it is and that there is so much more besides.

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You see as a sculptor who makes things and manipulates materials one is grounded in an earthyness and strength. There is logic, reason and truth as you try to impose your will on materials and reproduce your ideas in the complexity of the third dimension. So in your studio it’s real, present and dirty and yet the world that art is traded in is almost the opposite, which can be hard to reconcile. It has even got to a stage where people in suits pretend to be sculptors without ever having manipulated any materials, and this is where art becomes disconnected. A parade of vanity, vacuous and yet full of grandiose notions of world-changing concepts and contexts. But the truth is that the more pretentious and disconnected art work is a true reflection of society and our current state of disconnection. Which is why I often describe much of the contemporary art as being governed by style over substance.

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Because of the direction of society artists like myself have become marginalised and there is nothing that we can do about it beyond to live and struggle in the margins. However I feel that there is a place for art that is based on a deep human connectivity, even if it is only to serve as a subtle reminder of our basic humanity. I have struggled with this dilemma because I was once ambitious but I could never compromise my art and creativity for material gain. And it is only recently that I have come to terms with my plight and accepted that I must follow the values that are sacred to me. I must do this in order to achieve what I’m capable of as an artist and it must be done without bitterness or regret and as the result of a conscious decision.

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I realise that no matter how original or innovative my work is within my field of study, that I should expect no acknowledgement. And that I should be happy with the freedom that my life choices have brought me, because they are giving me the opportunity to blossom as an artist in my own eyes. I now know that I have turned the corner and move forward in a grounded way content with who and what I am. That means that I may even stop calling people fucking fuckers and exercise some discipline with both my character and vocabulary.

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 And so my path is clear once again, I’ve found a direction which suits me, one in which the only obstacles are the ones of my own making. I’ve learned many lessons and toughened up to the realities which I face and I’ve done this without losing sight of the values that mean so much to my life. It feels good to have regained my perspective and I feel so much stronger after my latest rebuild. I’m sure that I will have many tough times ahead but I feel prepared now and able to face up to lifes more difficult challenges. I dearly hope that I can continue to approach my art with the open mind that is yielding so many interesting studies and never to fall back on complacency again.
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