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The other side of life

November 30, 2015


This blog I write is a personal reflection of my life, a life struggling with art in the vain hope of finding a reason for being. And I write it because, the days of debating the foundations of my art are over, over because there comes a time when you have to front up and play your hand. And so it’s a conversation with the ether, casting words into a virtual abyss, no destination beyond a hope that they will connect somewhere and if not, their formation and projection is my gesture. A gesture which brings clarification to the thoughts that bounce and echo around my mind. Something to alleviate the despair and meaninglessness of an existence trapped in a world of rampant consumerism, as it marches over the tender soul of humanity, placing a price tag on everything.

Through words I search for substance that will inspire, stimulate and awaken me from my malaise, in a life which feels bereft of challenge and surprise. The hope of finding liberation from feeling like a prisoner,  even though much of it’s my own doing. All because there is a vain hope that I may feel empowered to realise what I once believed. What I believed before society ground me down and crushed those dreams, from when I believed and had the courage to be different, when I believed anything was possible. To find the voice I lost, lost because I didn’t protect it from the toxicity of society and circumstance, this society, the society of lost voices. Drowned out by the shouters and the big institutions of this loud and brash world.


The challenge is huge, because this society is disconnected, the soul torn out and replaced by generalities in every genre and aspect of being. The human scale usurped by awe and the complicit adoption of values focused on capital and convenience, all of which support the mechanisms of capitalism. I don’t wish to be lost in “the big” or be made to feel small by the scale of imposing globalised concerns. I just want to feel the relevance of being, to be human and ordinary, connected to the reality of my existence and not some meaningless token gesture in the conglomeration of globalised concerns. To feel free to get it wrong and expose my errors without concern in this far from perfect human incarnation, flawed beyond redemption.

Maybe it was because of art I found a yearning for this idealistic approach, a way of existing with a pure intent, which led me to believe there was something beyond the values of my society. And just maybe without art I would have found contentment within the compromised existence which torments my soul as I search for truth and substance. Was it art, which opened my eyes to an alternative reality or was it my destiny, a continuation from my childhood daydreams, a childhood full of questions and resistance to indoctrination. I never belonged and I never looked to belong to anything beyond the timeless human struggle, the humble nature of the singularity of human  existence. Though I never expected to experience such a level of dissonance, an agitation that will not allow me to rest and live out my life in peace. And I never expected such a robust challenge from within, a challenge which demands answers through personal growth and the realisation of something through my art, that something being the mystery which drives me with a relentless passion.


This life can tear you apart, break you down, and suffocate your life force, every time you stand up it knocks you down, my problem is the more knocks I take the angrier I get and the more determined I become to realise that dream I started out with. But now I don’t care much about anything beyond the conceptual realisation of possibilities. I don’t need to make it, I don’t need to share it and the shallow part of my ego is dying, thankfully. There is no longer a need to prove anything to another soul because I’ve found my freedom at the other side of the this huge scar that life has etched into my soul and my everything. I feel powerless beyond my perimeter and though I will offer my work I no longer have the energy to push it, or even the belief in projecting it anywhere.

These struggles now form the context of my life, they feel so real and yet in one sense they matter little in fact beyond the perimeter of my own existence they are utterly meaningless. But it’s all there is to go on, unless I pretend it’s different, but I can’t because of a wish to engage in a principled existence. So for now, content with drawing, I live with a sense of hope and optimism, that through drawing I’ll find a resolution to this plight and that just maybe it’ll illuminate a way forward.


This process is fascinating and I can feel the movement in my cognitive function, I don’t always understand what I’m doing though in time the meaning slowly appears through the recognition of my own sub-conscious communications. Then I write and I write in the moment, I write what I feel without inhibition and slowly the layers peel away and expose to a greater depth, just what I am. The problem is that the truth of my existence is not about vain ego and the deeper I become involved with creativity the harder I find the discipline of commodifying my work for the convenience of this art world.

Art is just so fucking deep that making an expression and showing it off in the hope of recognition becomes meaningless. In fact fame, fortune and all the myths surrounding artistic endeavour become meaningless as you grow to realise that the most important aspect of creativity is the broadening of the mind, spiritual growth and the heightened state of consciousness.


I always felt that art was about an immersion that allowed one to exist in a special state of being, a state which is almost everything but the work itself. The problem is that I became aware from a young age that the satisfaction and depth of creativity could not be matched by any other human activity, the reason for this being that one can be fully engaged in the pursuit of a purity and truth of existence without distraction. A stark reality of being in which you confront the notion of life itself, naked and without any accoutrements, you start with nothing but raw materials from which you grow through a process of creative invention. And it starts like that, from nothing to something, because you had the impulse to do it. Then you do it over and over, evolving, growing, questioning, answering, this simple process laced with infinite complexity, taxing every part of your being. This process of deconstruction and rebirth, always cyclical always unpredictable flying in the face of convention, putting tremendous personal strain upon the individuals. But the rewards are huge on a human level as your mind expands through the joy of creativity and invention, beauty, ugliness intrigue mystery and so the possibilities go on into the realms of infinity and that is just it, the point of it all, reflecting the cyclical nature, and multiple strands of existence. Simple yet complicated and held within the vibration of choices, caught within the polarities, an existence without a constant. An existence of bizarre truths, none more so than our collective journey, hurtling through infinite space, unwitting passengers of the cosmic solar express, propelled away from the big bang, where it all started.

How could I know anything of worth or be anything, other than a miniscule part of something extraordinary, in the broad context of reality. Space, time, substance  and infinity are just part of the tangible reality of a life of infinite uncertainty and possibility. Although we grasp and hold onto whatever we can, there is a futility about the human condition and the limitations of our consciousness and yet our lives have an illusion of being precious and important. We believe and yet we don’t know or understand anything beyond the finite, the minor details of scientific knowledge which attempt to scratch the surface of infinite possibility. And so we have societies and rules and regulations to distract us from the huge questions of existence, but this society binds us and holds us, controlled and useful confined to square rooms in square houses. Our live plans written out and legislated by those in power who are not there for their insight and wisdom but instead, for their blind ambition and hierarchical status.


Yet as an artist somehow all of these pressing concerns of society and position disappear as you engage with fundamental issues, all the important societal nonsense and rules go out the window and in solitude one reflects. Reflects on the basic questions of human curiosity and as you travel deeper into the abyss you feel everything which inhibits your freedom and see beyond the constraints and conventions which hold you in societies grasp. And sometimes it’s uncomfortable, like right now as I sit here writing at midnight, I feel the fear of an open mind and how there’s no going back to a simple life. Yet curiously this feeling is also reassuring because I know I’m pushing my boundaries out still further and so that my work can grow and reflect a deeper level of consciousness.

As an artist I wanted to fly way out and beyond the tangible, but society has a firm grip, I always felt I was being clawed back and thrown down to the earth into a compromised reality, forced into ways that feel unnatural and contrived. Everything always limiting me to the point where I could scream and shout, but I didn’t, I just internalized my stormy nature and released it through my work, gently. Even now it sometimes becomes too much and I express my despair, but I soon recover and go back to try all over again, full of that same old naive optimism.


The last few years have been complicated for me and it was through the practice of art that my world slowly deconstructed, even my perceptions of the art world underwent a deconstruction which resulted in a loss of belief as I realised the foundations were really set in the hierarchical systems of civilisation. Curiously I experienced a deconstruction of self and my own work, I simply couldn’t help it even though it has brought great hardship to my life. I think it comes down to an objective analysis whereby applying honesty unravels mystery, it’s like the emperors new clothes, and when you learn to actually see what you see, your outlook changes. My work can at times be awful and at other times quite good, the awful work causes me much pain and I have to admit failure and conversely the good work helps me to believe and inspire me. But in spite of all my lessons I still have to move forward and take risks in the hope of new discoveries. This is where the social media is quite interesting because you get immediate reactions, but it can also entrap you as you learn to look for likes and praise.

My big question of the moment is, just what do you take from this complicated mix of possibilities and feelings served up by life, and how do you express it through your art. A question to which I don’t think there is a simple answer, because it can be all-consuming with such levels of information overload. But what I find is that by working through ideas, I eventually reach a point where my work is able to reflect my concerns and observations, something which is quite satisfying. But not for long because in the search for something new you have to keep pushing towards the zones of discomfort.


Thanks for reading and have a great day ❤


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