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Onwards through Art

April 24, 2015

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I feel that I’ve finally reached a pretty special place with my art and discovered a depth of creativity that has always eluded me, I’ve touched upon it over the years but never truly understood. It’s a step up from the  demonstration of technical competence and the use of art to charm and force your way into being accepted, which is often the death knell of creativity, because it forces you into the contrivance of searching for external reactions.  It gets to the point where you start to feed of what bounces back as opposed to expressing from within and before you know it your life has been subverted into a performance for the vanities. Art which is tailor-made and applied to a purpose which is often decorative in the sense that it is constructed partly as an illusion in order to seduce the viewer into acceptance. It is here that the key to my life long struggle lies and why it has taken me so long to extricate myself from the insidious trap that holds so many artists. I felt the allure of notoriety whilst also being repulsed by its actuality and it has taken a great deal of courage to deconstruct my circumstance and discover what lay behind my discontent. Now its unravelling, I’m becoming aware of art in society and how it’s used and the consequent manipulation, because as a pawn caught up in the system it is hard to maintain clear and present objectivity. In fact I see it much more clearly now and behind the detail it’s a pretty simplistic model in which money, academia and critical collusion, dictate the terms in which art is offered to society. It’s almost like a club in which to be a part of it you must play by the rules, but in doing so you are forced into varying levels of compromise, because the system must be upheld to protect itself and those concerned.

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From my own experiences I believe that one can live a very successful life without really touching the depths of possibility, but some of us feel compelled to look deeper into our being in order to find a truth to existence and creativity which is not a construct of societal affectation. There is so much bullshit and pretence in the art world which is actually quite fun to play with and also very easy, however it is deeply manipulative and  disrespectful to what is sacred in life, which is why I kerb my indulgence. However when I was younger I fell in love with the romance of the bohemian life and the romance of the tormented poverty-stricken artist, because it was just so cool and you could do and say what you liked and be utterly outrageous. But I grew up eventually and realised that art was the precious gift for me and one which is teaching me more than I thought possible and it is only doing this because I have learned to respect the process with an open honesty.

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I do feel my days of subordination are behind me and I’m now (more) free to pursue art which goes beyond the gestures that are looking for acceptance, beyond the insecurities and doubts which need alleviating through acceptance. And for me this is a bold step into another level of art and a new way of seeing creative gestures, because it’s all about living with my eyes wide open to my circumstance and perception. And it is from this standpoint that art has become a very different beast to me, because my values are changing and I’m accepting the responsibilities which an artist has to communicate authentic values, regardless of how it’s received in he world. In one sense it is a gamble but I believe whole heartedly in my truth as something worthwhile pursuing, because it is all that I have to define myself with. It really comes down to a conscious choice, I could use my technical abilities to make beautiful things and be a sycophant in order to win praise and adoration or I can continue to pursue possibilities beyond my reach and live with the deep satisfaction of my own personal development in a substantive way. And really I have no choice now, because the price to pay for credibility in the commercial environment is that I will never attain what I’m capable of, because I will work under a constant distraction, something which I’ve already experienced for many years.

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I have fought long and had to be in the position which I am now and it’s not been easy because of who I am and the gentle qualities of my nature, but I have finally toughened up purely because it was my only option. It’s just so difficult holding onto all you value, your hopes and dreams, when as an artist you are so exposed to what is a heartless environment hell-bent on crushing your dreams and shaping you into a palatable commodity. More and more I’m noticing that integrity leads to a marginalisation and that the most profound people I know exist in the shadows, happy to pursue their quest in their solitude, just happy to share and grateful for those who take an interest. What I also notice is that in the pursuit of creative truth there is no generic approach and that those who show who they are, expose the characteristics of their life force. This I feel demonstrates that there is no absolute way and that there a certainly no rules in art, which is why it is crucial to feel free in pursuing the profundity of art by the exploration of individual expression. Or at least to not feel guilty or irrelevant by the obscurity which periodically comes knocking at your door. We are all different and have a contribution to make if only we have the courage to find it and then nurture it in the harsh societal environment we call reality.

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I find it so hard to articulate what I feel with words but I feel it’s important to attempt to share my experience as well as trying to understand and embrace my creativity with more insight. You see in writing this blog, all that I’m trying to explain is the transition from creativity aimed at a response, to the creativity of authentic expression and how that leap into authenticity feels. I feel it is a developmental step beyond simplistic constraints and one that sets you free to create in your own space and place in the universe.

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The language associated with art is quite loaded and we (generally speaking) look at art in a judgmental way, which is why we use critics and academics. But the problem is that if we a looking to judge it to empower ourselves then we are failing to accept our part in the bargain of communicational reciprocation. I truly believe that Art is not about liking or hating or fashion or status or fiscal value or any of these erroneous responses, instead it is a communication that we can honour through a sincere engagement. Of course this is my opinion but as an artist who takes art very seriously it is of the upmost importance to me

❤ ❤ ❤

 

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