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Turning my back to the world as a mirror

October 5, 2015

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I’ve been working myself into the ground for a few years now so that I can both explore my creativity and produce work to sell and make a living. It’s been intense and I find it hard to relax or lift the pressures which bear down on me because my situation feels critical on all levels.  I can see no simple solution in the short-term because the issues facing me are fairly dramatic. They are dramatic because I simply can’t find a space or place for my work in this world which feels appropriate. Even sharing my work in the virtual world has become a disappointment and no longer serves a purpose to the furtherment of my art. Beyond the support of a few who I truly appreciate deeply. 🙂

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The levels of frustration I feel after thirty years of struggling are so profound that I’m simply unable to describe them and yet I deal with them and temper the agitation so that I can attempt to live wih some harmony. But under the surface the intensity is ever-present and profound, because the sobering reality is one that is utterly bleak. A life story of a truly discordant nature and yet somehow I carry on working with an ideological approach towards the values of art and human expression.

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This year I’ve tried to show my work in community venues but this has been nothing more than a wake up call, an exercise in casting work into the void where at some venues it was met with a total lack of respect and at one venue it was even locked in a cupboard with damaged  frames and I wasn’t even informed. Last year a private gallery in which I showed closed down and disappeared without returning three of my unique sculptures. The upshot of these  experiences is that I’m starting to feel profoundly irritated by the reality faced by artists in this current climate and the complete lack of respect for authentic art in this plastic world. As an artist one shouldn’t feel like a victim and yet invariably we do, the whipping boys for this crass society. It’s no wonder that at times artists develop the characteristics of a victim mentality as they are subjected to this corrosive reality, a reality which holds the key to their very survival.

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About five years ago I gave myself a year to turn around my fortune and find a way out of my entrapment, it was a hideously naive expectation but what it did do was to lift me out of a state of being which was suffocating my soul. Over these years I’ve made great progress in all aspects of my artistic practice, yet I’m still in the same predicament of total isolation beyond the commercial world of private galleries. And subject to a life of abject poverty still scratting to survive in my fifties caught up in the romantic idyll of an age-old cliché. Yes I may have some interesting and hilarious stories, but these are my reality and there is a great sadness.

I’ll even give you an example of one of my stories: On a winters night about two years ago I had no wood for the fire to keep my house warm and no money, so I ventured out to a small river bank near my house to retrieve a huge log. It was so heavy that I had to tie a rope around it and push it into the river so that I could float it on the river and bring it near to my house to cut up. The log was so big that I was able to stand on it in the river, so I stood upon the log with my chainsaw and set about cutting it in half, river water spraying all over me as well as the rain from the heavens. I was covered in mud from my battle with the log on the river bank and very cold and wet, yet I was determined to get this wood for my fire whatever the dangers. When I finally managed to cut through the log it split into two pieces and the unroped half of the log drifted off in the current of the river, so after hours of struggle I saw my reward float away. I quickly launched my canoe and chased after the log in utter desperation, and luckily was able to  catch up with it and tie a rope round it. I brought the log home by towing it with my canoe and after a considerable struggle was able to drag the two huge logs out of the river. The logs where so much bigger and heavier than me that I was utterly exhausted, filthy and wet after my enactment of the old sculptor and the river, but I was proud of my achievement and epic battle to get the firewood to keep my house warm. There was no witness to the indignity of my plight and my galant efforts for salvation, but when I think about it now I always laugh. This life is crazy and there’s nothing we can do about it except smile. 🙂

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Times are not quite so bad now though I still feel like a mute artist, with so much to say and no one to say it to, even though I’ve embraced the social media and done all I can to promote my work and ideas in virtuality. I simply can’t make art any more interesting and innovative than I do and I can’t promote it beyond my current levels of commitment either. So at some point soon I will have no option but to withdraw my work from all these virtual networks because the futility is just too troubling. You see nothing happens in my reality which changes my fortune or promotes my art. Nothing happens to realise my artistic vision beyond what I struggle to achieve in the confines of my small studio. Which leads me to the unfortunate conclusion that at some point soon I just have to throw in the towel and finally admit to myself that there is simply no place for my work in this world beyond the few good people who support me, who I appreciate very much. My inner voice is calling for me to once again turn my back on society and so that I can just get on with being an artist without distraction. The cause of art is too deep and profound to compromise and it is a crime against our humanity for all of us to deny its truth to society as one by one we crumble under the insidious pressures. The pressures of a society with diluted ideals and questionable values which serve up a feast for a divisive society blinded by greed and ambition, upholding the hierarchical status quo. Yes we wander blindly into our unknown fate, being led without even knowing it, for our purpose is not to inconveniently question why.

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There was a time when I was younger that I would optimistically contact curators, public galleries and sculpture parks in some boldly naive gesture but as my communications weren’t even acknowledged I grew tired of silent rejection. Which is probably why I turned to the virtual world but even here in virtuality after about five years of constantly bombarding it with my imagery, nothing has actually happened beyond the dilution of my energies in some bizarre experience of virtual pacification. And so as I throw my imagery at this world there is no echo from the vast abyss and I realise that it is swallowed whole and devoured, cast into a storm of chaos that has no form beyond a vortex of utter confusion.

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My alternative is just to simply withdraw and work in solitude so that I can work without expectation and disappointment. I will as always make a few sculptures to sell and dedicate my life to the development of new ideas “far from the madding crowds” .After thirty years of trying to get my work noticed I’ve finally had enough and I’m not able to endure anymore agitation. I really feel that I’ve done my fair share of sharing my work as a responsible artist and I no longer need the discomforts of living in hope. Yes I smile and chatter politely in a congenial way but under the surface I feel like a raging bull confined by the limitations of a sleeping society, bathing in the rewards of afluence. A society not wishing to awaken to an inconvenient human truth that would undermine and question the luxuries of wealth.

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I’ve grown to realise that in order to find satisfaction I’ll need to acheive an authentic self realisation on a fundamental human level, something I must do alone, simply because there is no other way. And to achieve this I must reflect in the stillness of my reality so that I have the chance to understand who and what I am. The problem as I see it, is one of breaking free from the great burdens I carry, particularly the burdens of expectation. I must also embrace the meaninglessness of my own existence in order to break free from the concerns which weigh me down with regards to notions beyond the ordinary, so that I may enjoy my insignificance.

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Please have a beautiful day ❤

 

One Comment
  1. I sent you a private message to your sculpture page on facebook. x

    Like

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