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The Art of Vulnerability

November 9, 2015

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As an artist I struggle to define a clear contribution to the art world and after years of being buffeted in the melee of contemporary society I’m discovering a deeper sense of truth and purpose. Out of all the clutter and confusion, there is at last a clearing, a clearing in which  a growing perception of self belief is allowing my art to blossom. I believe it’s been a humble journey in which I’ve slowly grown and developed as an artist, an approach to art based on an empirical evolution where the proof and belief has evolved through the sculptures which I’ve made. On a basic conceptual level I’ve remained true to my core beliefs, however my experiences of life have contributed new elements which have become assimilated into my body of work.

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When I work on a series of sculptures at the moment, I see and feel the authenticity and truth of my work, which is slowly starting to define my oeuvre. It feels like I’ve found my way and I’m finally producing a defining body of work  that has a validity to the context of my own existence and experience. And I can do this because I no longer fear exposing my vulnerability and the awkward truths of being, having come to terms with my flaws and my ordinariness. On a personal level I feel satisfied that I’ve arrived at the point of being one with who I am and my art, that there is a fluency which gives me a sense of achievement. However my temporary state of contentment is tempered by an empirical knowledge of transience and I don’t feel complacent, because I’m only too aware of the tenuous and  ephemeral nature of being and how in an instant circumstance can change. How I can come crashing down to earth when the feeling of emptiness falls upon me, lifes reminder to keep on moving away from complacency and conceit. Because there is no glory or arrival on a life long journey in which  you seek to go beyond your edge of reason.

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I believe that as an artist, you have to dig deep and find the strength of character to resist the pressures from society, so that you can transparently communicate what you feel deep within.  So that you can act as a conduit for a deep and soulful expression, where the conscious mind  meets the subconscious and the consciousness flows freely in an unholy alliance. To realise a vision through authenticity and sincerity, because I feel  the passionate expression of humanity comes from a place of belief. Self belief, being an area in which I’ve struggled greatly in the life of creative isolation which I chose, though recently I’ve found more belief which has eased my uncertainty. And it is through the doing and making of sculptures which I whole heartedly believe in that has brought about this change. That I may after all, have a strong and worthy message to communicate through my art, but whatever my perceptions are, I feel a quiet confidence which is finally releasing me into a place of greater artistic freedom.

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The challenges my work puts before me are constantly evolving and growing in stature, which is never easy because one is always poised at a point of uncertainty in a future unknown. A life full of possibilities and without any guarantees, which I feel is my challenge as an artist, just to have the courage to grasp uncertainty and to look to go one step beyond, then another, big steps into a new world.

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When I look at artists I admire, I see a vision, I feel their message, sense their determination, and the uniqueness, which they fought to convey to the wider world and I think I’ve grown to realise just how difficult it is to do this . It’s not really about whether I like their work, or my subjective analysis but more about responding to the essence of their expression and the message contained within their body of work. Because when I step back from being judgemental I can feel their expression and yet so often the judgements blind us to the reality of communication. And it is here with my own work that I’ve finally realised that the strength of communication comes from the fluency of  expressed intent, so when I’m at one making my art the awkwardness disappears. Because I’m not trying too hard as to strain my flow of expression and this is why you sometimes need space to work alone and without the distraction or the judgement of others. As I often say, art that flows as a stream of truth conveys the intent, because in art you can’t hide anything, no matter how it’s dressed up and presented, the bottom line is that it is what it is and there is no hiding place.

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What I’m trying to say is that my perception of a true artist is a person who works to a point of fluency, unhampered by technique and uninhibited from the social and societal consequences of expression. It’s freedom I’m writing about really and a lack of concern for the extraneous factors which distract the flow of expression. That for some reason these individuals were forced by something inside to realise a vision of truth out of their own existence and take whatever hardship came their way. I see it as a gesture of singularity in which an individual stands up in order to realise a vision which burns deep inside them, a true vocation which can only be satisfied through actual realisation, which is often in spite of circumstance. For the true artist it’s not about fame and fortune of some petty ego trip, because it is life defining, to the depths of the soul. So honest and true that the artist must endure whatever is thrown at them  and fight for the courage and strength to find faith.

Have a beautiful day >3

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