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The Art of Intuition

November 17, 2015

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There has been a process of transition in my creativity in which the art of ideas is taking precedence over the art of commodity, possibly a natural evolution from thirty years of searching for authenticity. During these three decades of dramatic change and evolution within western society, the role of art  has faced great challenges. And now there are clear divisions within the art world and a confusion which reflects the chaos that lies at the heart of society. A dichotomy of values in which there is art to reflect the gloss and superficiality of consumerism and there is the art to reflect what lies beneath, such as the consequence and realities which underpinn afluent societies (of course this is an over simplistic generalisation). But in all art there is a message and a reason for its being, it may not be what it first appears to be, but it tells our story, demonstrates where we are and unravels the complexity of our situation.

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As a human being I realise that I don’t even understand existence and because of this, will never fully understand the actions and the results of my creativity. There is no certainty and the grasp on my own creativity is tenuous to the point where, when letting go of the intensity I feel everything fade into insignificance. It’s a sobering experience and if anything is to be learned from it, it would be to be humble and respectful.

4

It isn’t easy being an artist but by attempting to conform one can avoid feeling alone or embarrassed about ones creativity and there is a vain hope of fitting in or finding a place within the system. But this is folly for many artists and there is no choice but to bite the bullet, stand up and follow a path of truth, the exploration of singularity. A path which even leads to the sniping from ones peers in this over crowded and overly competitive world. The problem is the pressures shape the unwitting artists to suit the convenience of society, the noble sacrifice of integrity for the greater good of social order, at the expense of our humanity. The duality between intuitive creativity and that of prescriptive creativity, art for the exploration and possibilities of humanity versus art for the pomp and ceremony of society.

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Art has taught me that freedom of expression does not come about through a controlled approach. Although once championing a more orthadox approach to art with an intellectual bias, I grew to realise that a supposed “common sense” approach to creativity stifled exploration.  The problem is one of feeling compelled by the pressures of society to attempt to contrive a criteria and context for art (often retro fitted) 🙂 .  When in fact we can be driven by intuition, though truth and connectivity is complicated  in prescriptive societies.

2

This is where the importance of ego comes in and the strength to embrace it, because art is often about singularity and a willingness to embrace and believe in self in order to express with certainty and belief. Though I’m not writing about blind faith here because in a search for authenticity one needs a level of  objectivity and the sobering understanding of human equality. What I’m alluding to here is the contrast and contradictions of individualism and collectivism and the levels of sincerity, something which art has forced me to question. The bottom line is, do you believe in your work and your life, I mean really believe in it.

7

I don’t know whether or not I’m an awkward beast, or just someone looking for a deeper meaning and purpose to existence, in a search for greater freedom. But art is up there for sure, up there as a sacred possibility and something which has the power to challenge conventional wisdom and compliant thinking. In art there is a possibility for freedom and discovery if only you can find a way to trust in the basic levels of human instinct and impulse. And this is the gift an artist has the possibility to grasp, a vision from a unique perspective, something to share, a gift to provoke and stimulate reactions, an offering. But it’s not easy to share this gift, the reactions will vary from condemnation to admiration and yet somehow you have to find a balance, so you can keep on going. And I guess this is where belief, hope and optimism are vital for the continuation of  the struggle and where the irrepressible passion and spirit compels you to keep on keeping on. And if like me you’re subjected to a life of penury, yes you question the system and feel victimised, but you protect the sanctity of your purpose, so you may continue without petty prejudice.

11

As with most artists, there have been knocks in my life, for just being an artist openly exploring possibility. Though turning the other cheek and accepting derision is part of the process and to be quite honest you reach a point where enough is enough. Because of this a defiant approach has evolved, confronting those who confront me and judging them in return for their judement, like the artist holding up the sacred mirror. And though I’m happy for people to react to my art (art after all is about provocation) such reactions no longer erode the message or influence the sanctity of my creativity.  Right now it’s about working in singularity because that is all I know something which is a struggle because there was always a more open approach in search of a general acceptance. But life teaches one that it’s pure folly to be dependent on the whim of others, something which has had a profound effect on the taking responsibility for who I am, what I do and why I do it.

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There’s an incongruous smile I feel within, that in the midst of real struggle one can feel blessed by the joy of freedom, the priceless gift of the profound challenge of life. Because no matter how dire circumstances are, the sacred nature of art fulfills something very deep within the phsyche and you grow to realise that struggles on a material level are trivial. Even the real frustration at being unable to share work with the world is of no consequence and that what one has to say as an artist need not be broadcast at all. In fact as long as one feels motivated to create and challenged by an approach to life, surely that is enough. Because it would be unpleasant to feel bitter or even an unfulfilled expectation, when one can just work within the reality of circumstance and express all one feels the need to, in order to satiate a lifes calling.

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I’ve always had a compulsion for sincerity and honesty, because I knew I couldn’t lie to myself and feel satisfied , yes we all lie to ourselves in part, but it’s to what degree. For a long time I chose silence and accepted being a misfit in many ways, because of a need for expression with a simple sincerity which felt true and meaningful, and whilst the art may not be glamorous and earth shattering, it is sincere. However after twenty years of feeling a restricted practice through environment factors, I reached the crisis point. This crisis point felt like a last chance to find what I was looking for, so that I could make my life feel meaningful and produce the art I’m capable of. So that I may find the space to live my life in fullness and not as a puppet having strings pulled from all directions. Being torn apart can get a little tiresome after a while, because you slowly lose the will to fight and without rebellion art is?

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It was through feeling utterly broken and empty that awoke me to a reality in which assumptions became moribund and I coud hear and see the world in a different way. Finally realising that circumstance and the whispers of the world around were actually a reality,  opened up by simply looking and listening. So by slowly detaching from the conceit of presumption and assumption I became open to the impulses and intuition which we are taught to ignore through our socially engineered state of being. I realised my knowledge is limited and to presume wisdom was pure folly, nothing could be taken for granted and it became a challenge to learn to trust in something which was not tangible to conventional wisdom.

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To learn to trust and believe in something counter intuitive to “normality” and embrace the spiritual aspect of being, to feel my soul and respect the vast possibilities and mysteries of existence.   My experience was one of finding knowledge to be assumption based and so I was liberated from the futility of  accepting ignorance as wisdom. And from this place of taking nothing for granted, this abyss, I found an intuition and I found myself, what society pressurises us into sacrificing for the vanity of aspiration. Back on the road to discovering the truth of my own reality and existence the art started once again started to reflect a truth.

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There was no longer a right way round, no conventional logic or certainty because personal discoveries had opened up my thinking. Realising that the human condition had no certainty and that in one sense we are as helpless as we are empowered, in fact our whole existence is like a dichotomous vibration which holds us together. This was my awakening to my impulse and intuition and it was about to set my art free. There were no boundaries beyond my aesthetic sensibilities and if ideas worked that was good enough. And so compositions slowly evolved into something quite extraordinary, yes people often say they’re crazy and they are, but they work and they reflect an aspect of the human condition. My work flowed into an area of complex metaphor representing states and perceptions of possibility, which even I didn’t understand, though deep inside I knew it was true and from the depths of my soul.

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And so here I am after a bruising from the cruising through life and grateful still, life is just as big a mystery now, as it always has been, only now I can embrace uncertainty and take comfort from the simple act of being, with sincerity as a companion. I still make art and express myself, only now the content of the work is evolving to reflect a broadening perception of life and uncertainty and as always there are more questions than answers. Sometimes working with spontaneity and drawing whatever appears, or drawing out thoughts and ideas which pop into my mind and sometimes just contemplating in the confines of the studio observing how the sculptures juxtapose and open up new possibilities. The endless possibilities which are there waiting for us to embrace if only we can learn to see and find the courage to recognise and embrace them. I believe it comes down to a state of mind in which one has to learn to ditch prejudice in order to find freedom, something which is not easy in the confusion and noise of a loud society.

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Today after fifty two years of wandering and wondering upon this planet I still don’t know who or what I am and I struggle with the subjective judgments with which we are expected to define ourselves. How could I have a favourite colour and more importantly why should I, how can I define beauty when I find beauty in ugliness. Because in this regard our identity is engineered to fit within the parameters of society for the sake of convenience, but our humanity is far more complicated. I mean what is life, why does our heart beat and why do we feel we have souls. Is there a purpose to life  and if so what is it. What is it to like, could I like myself and if I like another person, on what do I base my judgements. Could I ever truly know another person when I barely understand myself, of course there is no absolute answer, which is why assumption is important, however assumption must be questioned. And here lies the crux of my philosophical outlook on life, the reason I question everything and demonstrate how the almost impossible is acceptable through my art.  I’m trying to demonstrate that there is always an alternative perspective, and that by opening our hearts and minds to possibilities our lives can become enriched. Or at least this is my experience of life as an artist and I’m proud to share it openly. It,s also why I can’t be bothered trying to play at being an artist for effect and why I refuse to dress my work up as anything beyond the creativity of  the regular guy I am. It’s probably why I live a life of penury too, but it’s worth it because feeling genuine is priceless in a society which assumes it can put a price on anything.

Have a beautiful day ❤

 

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