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Art is Life is Art

December 11, 2015

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I feel inspired by the complexity of expressing the uncertain nature of existence and the challenge of defining unspecified possibilities.  And because I can’t establish certainty, I wonder if it’s possible to find satisfaction or belief, beyond brief moments of revelation. Even in the brief moments of satisfaction I realise that it’s only within my immediate reach, making the production of art a huge and testing challenge. So I try to accept the limitations and explore what I believe is pertinent, knowing full well that it is quite irrelevant beyond the journey of a soul in a vast sea of countless souls. Existence the extraordinary mystery and I an unwitting player, can do no more than celebrate life with my art and hope to touch upon depths, knowing that I will never hold on to anything for long.

This conclusion may sound quite bleak, but it’s one based on empiricism, a journey through a process governed by an intent to explore the freedom beyond compromise, my one consistent goal. So that I may understand art beyond the simplistic inventions of convention, the overwhelming expectations and the peer pressure. So far it’s going quite well, I’m still a drop out and the spirit of rebellion has never left me, with my practical approach to art remaining accessible to anyone. Whilst my lack of success in the material realm irritates me, I realise that it’s a necessity for my own feeling  and perception of freedom.

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Sometimes the moment of creativity is so strong, it’s almost like I’m under a spell as I work away, but something will happen to shake me out of it and I realise that the grip is tenuous and subject to the ephemeral nature that defines the nature of existence. This ever-present  dichotomy between what I feel is my truth and what society imposes and implies my state of being should be. So in the blink of an eye I transform from a state of absolute conviction, passion and belief to one, where I feel bereft of everything. However there is a determination to keep on fighting through all my inhibitions and limitations untill I find the strands that will bind together to form my oeuvre. Something that will give me the strength and belief to define the whole of my intent.  A small purpose in the vast chasm of infinite infinity, time, space, life, forever, whatever, whenever. For me it’s everything and yet it is meaningless beyond a faint gesture, not even a ripple.

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For the moment it helps to see my art as tentative gestures, a humble contribution from a single perspective, something stated to be reflected upon. There are no secrets or big stories which is why I make no claims about my work beyond the intent and the angle of approach. Life and art, art and life woven into the art of living, living through art in an all-consuming existence.  Which is why I’m determined to keep going untill my vision is complete, something which I will judge on the basis of  finding what I’m looking for. When all my gestures are united by a common purpose, a purpose which I hope one day to understand and define.

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In my approach to subject matter I try to avoid the specificity of singular objectives, something which lies at the root of contentious issues within the practical dealings of my daily life. Creating a dilemma, because there is an implied expectation for specifics and narrative in the way art is perceived within the contemporary zeitgeist. Art being so themed and narrative driven, as it heads down a one way system in a process of accelerating reinvention for the sake of reinvention. This art world is just so fucking crazy, mixed up and splintered, that  I choose to ignore it and so I can steer clear of its influence and work from my own truth. If art is about life then I have to live and experience my chosen reality to make it, this ordinary existence of mine.

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It’s funny but we the humans seem obsessed with progress and self-importance, blinkered by ambition, and desire to control the uncontrollable, to understand that which is beyond our comprehension. And we’re not helped by capitalism, the cultural imposition of selfish singularity in which we are at war with each other, so that we may prevail at the expense of others. This bleak cultural landscape spreading dilution as it appeals to the base levels of humanity, destroying community in its wake. And whilst we busy ourselves in the playground of excess, we are blissfully unaware of the savage foreign policies, tearing humanity apart, distracted by superficiality from the timeless human struggle.  And so through my art I’m forced into questioning, what is progress and what is the cost, do we know and do we care. It simply fascinates me, living in a society subject to the powerful collective will and the few who manipulate it.

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For now I’m content with the feelings of being lost, lost in the search of an expanding horizon, an exploration through defining gestures. Lost in the great mystery in which I feel there are answers, answers which will only appear after an endeavour to make some sense out of my intuition. Sometimes with my creativity I just have to plunge blindly in feet first so that I can crudely explore what lays beyond my grasp, casting my nets in the hope of catching something which I recognise as potential.

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The curious factor is that I still believe in my possibility in spite of my existence within a reluctant art world. So I keep going in my own relentless fashion, living in hope, making my gestures and playing with the uncertainty that holds the key to furthering some kind of  understanding. For a closed mind is closed,  a mind channelled within the methodology of systems and procedure is compromised and so it goes for the mind searching for solidity of outcome. The way I see it is that the free and open mind looks for expansion and accepts outcome, almost as byproduct, in an approach which delivers a level of empiricism and insight into human consciousness. I guess what I’m trying to say is that an open mind leads to greater discoveries and unexpected consequences, results beyond current levels and the possibility of something new and uncontrived. After all creativity is about discovering something new, something one step beyond, a step we should never stand on for too long.

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My search for questions and meaning through art takes me to extremes and surprising levels of austerity, something which I don’t contrive but it just happens. Through a stripped down objective approach I become focused on a type of minimalism to a point where I no longer care about food, company, music or any of the trappings of  western comfort. And this is because the raw truth of human expression lies deep within, to access it I need to focus without the distractions, dilutions and noise of physical factors in this overcrowded world. The simple purity of meditative contemplation in the moment without expectation and without precedent is where I find my truth of expression, the existence beyond  the realms of physicality and being tied to the demands of the physical vessel I inhabit. It may sound a bit like a cliché but this process of creativity is a cocktail of cerebral and spiritual immersion, the results and conclusions form the expressed gestures. And so slowly, I’m moving away from the intellectual imposition of the rational mind-set,  an approach which I believe results in the awkward imposition of contrivance, the specific content, contexts and the imposed criteria of a diluted intent.

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I don’t know why but I feel an aversion to the whole notion of contemporary art, art channelled to communicate specificity in order to fit within criteria. I think it’s perhaps because there is a level of conceit with absolute statements, because there is an arrogance when art makes bombastic statements. And so with my own art I follow the singularity of my beliefs, but it’s not easy swimming against the tide and because of this I’m forced to accept the consequences of my actions, actions which question, undermine, subvert and provoke, art which can only guarantee one thing, the reflection of uncertainty. I now know why no one could ever have truly backed me or supported me in my quest, because I bring unpredictability to a world seeking certainty and absolute statements. My journey led by questions, gladly accepting the invitation offered through art, a polite and respectful response and it really is that simple.

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Sometimes through my practice I feel  like a sponge absorbing everything possible in order to gain a picture of the world I inhabit. But it’s a strange existence and one full of contradiction, an existence in which it can be so easy to become lost, absorbed into the flow and conventions of normality. In my experience I often become assimilated into society and feel that sense of belonging, but the comfort unsettles me and I have to kick off, reject it and find my space and place to create from a detached perspective. It makes me quite an awkward beast in the way I have to protect what is valuable to me, this simple way of being which allows me to be dedicated to a purpose and free.

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It’s too easy to be influenced and cajoled in this loud world full of shock and awe, so easy to be thrown off course, even when you have your sights set on an approach. I feel like I’m constantly buffeted in the storm of life, touching base every now an again and as I touch I remember who I am and what I feel I believe. Protecting your soul in the tumult of contemporary society is complex and through my work there is reactive defiance, the fuck you’s and churlish gestures, there to register my protest and afford me some space, nurturing my own sense of alienation. Creating space inside my own mind to reject what I don’t believe in and to realise the actuality of being.  The core of existence which when I work with full belief, feels real and present, the devotion and belief in an engagement with creativity, where nothing is held back. That in the moment of expression you submit and give everything and in that moment it means everything, because there is oneness. A oneness undisturbed by the noise of life and circumstance in which every gesture carries the weight of truth and the beauty of existence.

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It’s funny but in writing this I feel an inadequacy in the knowledge that I’ve not given enough to my art, something I hope to rectify. Even though I try to put everything I can into my work, I struggle to overcome my limitations and the awkward relationship with the art world. However I believe this endeavour is finally paying off through a gradual evolution of my art. Not in a shallow way but through my expressed gestures, the drawings, the sculptures and even my words, because I’ve built up a body of work which defines a personal philosophical approach. Even though I’ve had to face a life of hardship, I dared to be different and over time found something special. Special to me because I always knew there was something there waiting to be discovered, tempting me out of my comfort zone and luring me into finding the courage to pursue an isolated struggle.

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It may sound like a cliché but art is like a meditation, in silence you submit to an intensively personal act of devotion. And in this moment you try to close out the extraneous pressures and influence, this moment of self realisation and truth in which you become lost to the world and found within. This is the beauty, the truth, and the love which defines what I believe art is and this is the most I can attempt to offer through my art. The warmth I feel towards my art is beyond words, because it’s all-consuming and in the moment it is everything,  it defines my very existence and reason for being. Without it I’m utterly lost and find it impossible to replace, which is why the prevailing attitudes of the art world have torn me apart and almost destroyed me at times. It is why I had to learn to write too, because I had to discover why I felt so lost, using words to put my existence into some coherent perspective. With words I could also explain my process and communicate without reservation. But it isn’t easy because art goes beyond boundaries and requires freedom and for me to realise this  freedom I’ve had to all but drop out and adopt an isolationist approach.

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All artists are different and so my approach is unique to me, a voyage of discovery in which I must journey alone to find what I may be looking for. And so I explore my own way of seeing and doing, even though my approach is at odds with the general contemporary trending and I like that, in fact I like it a lot. I don’t want to fit in or experience comfort and complacency, because I need the freedom of detachment in order to nurture defiance. The defiance which allows me to think and say fuck it I’m doing it my way, the defiance which motivates me to prove the worth and value of my decisions. Life is here and now and this is it, waiting to be defined through living the way you see fit.

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The outcome is always the future untold, waiting for the curious mind to discover and you have to make it happen, it’s not meant to be and there is no reason as much as there is a reason. Life is not some sentimental idyll but something fought over in order to explore the many splendid possibilities.

 

Have a great day ❤

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