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The Edge of Reason

May 11, 2015

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The process of art is one of decision-making, which requires great clarity, because without it art becomes lost in a fog of uncertainty. This process is complicated and requires the sifting through of countless thoughts in order to arrive at the few which signify your direction and philosophical overview. The distractions are plenty and occur on every level of existence, from the vast universal concepts right down to immediate environmental and circumstantial conditions. And it all comes down to  how you operate within the complex dynamics of life and the circumstances which test your character and resolve.

As an artist you learn to connect to your intuitions and through both conscious and sub-conscious decisions, you follow a path and a direction which is constantly under fire from both within and without. You have to learn to nurture a unique approach and a position within the context of society based on reactions to life and art from which you slowly learn to define yourself. Your reality slowly unfolding through time and the commitment to authentic expression. This journey through art provides a constant stream of  personal revelations as you emerge, slowly shedding the layers that camouflage identity and revealing self in a stark reality devoid of embellishment. For me this concept of emergence, awakening and exposure lies at the heart of art as you become drawn to the truth and reality of being, a purpose to a journey of endless questions.

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In my own life I’m clearly aware of my decision-making process and the reactions which have pressurised me and questioned me to destruction. And at the heart of it has been a rejection of contrivance and art without substance, the contemporary art that is led by a search for a unique usp, searching for a pot of gold. The style over substance in a search for continuities in the time and space of the linearity of the art world. In my own life I have watched people selfishly search for a means to elevate themselves in an unholy race against their peers to grab and compete in an exuberant celebration of vanity and ego. Illusionary art without substance, thrown together to great effect in a show of style to catch the attention of the equally banal movers and shakers. Now I’m going to refrain from cheap negativity, but I feel I have to describe the environment in which I operate.

I for my part have continued on a path that has gone against the grain in a defiant stand against values that do not sit comfortably with me, because I felt compelled to make work which was honest which I feel  has been a success on some levels. It has been a slow evolution and a life with little material reward, but a life that has seen what is for me an incredible level of innovation and personal development. I am the sum of all my decision-making and ethical approach to life and art, which is something that I’m proud of, because I have fought for substance and truth. I could so easily have admitted defeat at many stages of my life, but I won’t because I know that by doing so would be weak and undermine all that I have ever believed in. So I remain an underdog with a defiant voice and I intend to carry on articulating the substance of my values which art gives me, for it is only now that the fruits of my life in art can grow and materialise, as I become unburdened from my constraints. Again this approach is counter to the perceived wisdom of our time in which we are expected to fly before we have even learned to walk, a world of instant gratification in which we want it all now, when the truth is it takes time to evolve significance, meaning and substance.

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Much of my decision-making process has come about in a world that has become a free for all in a scramble for recognition and reward and for some reason I always opted for the decisions which felt right for me and wrong for my superficial empowerment. There are deep reasons behind my approach, relating to my conditioning and psychological make up, which compel me to seek an unquestionable resolution which will allow me to move forward. It’s strange but my identity hinges upon the actuality of my gestures as an artist because of my lifes commitment, which is why I cannot subjugate my work for superficial effect. This perceived truth which emerges from my work is so telling to me on a personal level, it’s cathartic and empowering, but it also has a relevance on a wider level as a philosophical gesture, questioning the values we uphold as a society. Like an example of exercising the rights of individuality in the midst of an overbearing state in an environment of viral conformity. It’s about empowerment in a sea of madness when everyone knows that our direction is unsustainable and exploitative, when really we should bring about change, yet we opt for the convenience of swimming in the shoal, falling into line on the road to planetary desolation. My life as an artist is a small gesture to the world but a huge gesture from me and I feel that I have it very much in perspective for the moment, because there are seven billion other people out there making their own gestures too.

A life in art is so interesting, I could be wrong on many levels, because all I do, is subject to my own subjectivity, but this is the case for all of us in our own lives, we never truly know anything, yet we make assumptions because we must to define ourselves. And what I feel from my own experience of life is that I have never come across a profound wisdom to fully undermine my approach to life, yes I have learned a lot from others, which has all helped in my own personal journey in which I equally share what I feel is my own wisdom.

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❤ ❤ ❤

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