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Exploring Uncertainty

December 20, 2015

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Four years ago my journey as an artist left me feeling disillusioned with life in general, my voice as an artist had dwindled and I could feel that slippery slope towards the state of  bland mediocrity. Burnt out through over production and perpetual poverty, a life in which the balance to survive had tipped too far  towards the erosion of my intent. It was a huge problem that only I was aware of and my self belief was in tatters. And so began my extraordinary life make-over, I started my blog and opened up a conversation and I set about rediscovering my creative truth.  Changing my life by opening up and exploring  possibilities I’d felt too weary to explore, blissfully unaware of what was driving me at that time. I felt lost but was aware of a deep disatisfaction,  distressed from the meaninglessness of witnessing my life turning from hope to a broken dream, all of which echoed around my mind.

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The irony of my situation was that I had to reach a depth of despair to awaken to new possibilities, a state which you would never voluntarily submit to. And you wouldn’t because it’s a state that takes you to the edge of reason and beyond into the darkest rececces of your mind. A state where you question everything only to find out how misguided you are and how there are no fixed answers in this land of uncertainty. The bleak reality of being a single entity in a world that one could never understand and the possible futility of a life without purpose. At times like this you realise how alone you are and how meaningless your life is beyond the illusions you create to feel a modicum of worth. This was my stark reality and as close to the truth as I could find, there was no sentiment or anything to soften the blow of the sobre confrontation of self. You could call it rock bottom, the place from which there is only one direction to take, because the illusions are over and all you have left is the kernel of the dream you started out with, which is perhaps what you brought into this world. The seed that holds the answers to the meaning of your life, the seed you forgot to nurture as you fought to survive in the tumult of daily life. I had found that I couldn’t live a life based on the supression of my soulfull reality for the convenience of society, which is why I had to set myself free, so that I could live my life.

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The good news is that my extreme make-over worked and after over 550 blog entries I found what I was looking for, I found my freedom and got my voice back. I’m no masochist but this experience has been awesome, a significant awakening and a journey which has allowed me to see art on a far deeper level, in turn understanding the importance of authenticity in art. Simply because art is one of the few vocations which allows and expects freedom of expression on the highest level and in turn the artist shares it all. What I’m saying is that art is a human expression that is a many splendorous feast, it doesn’t need to be beautiful or have a profound narrative, because it doesn’t need to be anything in particular beyond an expression of humanity, be it a whisper or a scream. My take on art is that it should break every rule possible in an act of provocation and celebration, a declaration of freedom to liberate the human soul from the clutches of societal opression. A window into the world of the other human truth, a truth as valid as the one we are conditioned into, the truth of existing beyond language and the confines of  contrivance and regulation. This is art and you can do what the fuck you like with it,  the land of freedom and whilst we celebrate the critics collectors and curators, art will happen anyway without the judgement of the self appointed. Oh yes, art cries out for anarchy and the free spirit to explore the unconventional and crazy possibilities, just waiting to be discovered by those who dare to cross the line.

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I’ve felt the effects of my metamorphosis, because I’ve started to see art in a different way, there is now a clarity in which I see art beyond the distraction of its presentation. And I feel it in my own work through a level of freedom which transcends the pressures to conform to any aesthetic or self imposed expectation. I believe it’s a feeling that is unified and confirmed through seeing and doing and really points a way forward for me in which self belief is an essential ingredient, self belief being my greatest struggle.

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It is a great privilege to be an artist and a tough challenge too, but once you get through the obstacles there is a way of freedom. A place you can work without fear of judgement and without the concern of being any big thing in the eyes of others. It’s really about a singular achievement which you offer to the world in good faith and hope that it will move some people and maybe if your lucky, enrich the lives of others. However the strength to accomplish a sense of belief within, is a very complicated feat and one which is very much found in the truth of the internal dialogue. Because only you can really know who you are, that is if you can find yourself on the journey to self discovery. In this journey you can cross lines which change your life forever and for me I discovered art to be far more serious than I ever imagined. The level of commitment can be all consuming and throws up challenges which can never be solved, beyond the gestures of your art. These gestures in turn become the building blocks which determine and define your existence, the meaning and purpose expressed from within.

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In the pursuit of authentic expression I’ve become aware of how different I feel each day, something which intrigues me because I can only conclude that nothing is fixed in this life. Through this artistic journey my aquired knowledge and conditioning  has been eroded to such a point, that it’s exposing an even more stark reality. This life of continual questioning has led to a deconstuction of the supposed norm undermining the accepted values of society to which we are expected to conform. And this is the area of thinking where  my current inspiration lies, a place without much sentiment a place where my work is incidental to the human quest for answers that will point to a reason for being. So I explore uncertainty in this life of truth and deception and study the human condition of being trapped by society so that I can discover what freedom is beyond these constraints. It is a rich area of pickings but also very complicated because you simply do not know  what will happen and what the worth of the expressions will be. It’s almost like making things because you feel like it and then trying to translate what it might be telling you. The practical way of doing this is by drawing in the moment and just seeng whatever appears and learning to trust that intuitive judgement.

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I often find sentiment clouds judgement something which is used as leverage to manipulate, which is why I try to avoid it in my art, because when you analyse sentimentality it’s often a cover. So I wonder how can you quantify, beauty, happiness and love with some objectivity, when they are not fixed beyond subjective criteria and judgemental assumptions. On a human level I ask myself just what is it that I’m looking for and is there a personal truth which lies beyond the collusion of society. Can I find a balance or is that  too convenient a way of exploring humanity beyond convenience and the awkward truths. Whilst what I’m trying to articulate may at times sound cold and dispassionate, I believe it to be quite the contrary.

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For example why would I choose happiness as a goal and try to avoid sadness, why should I choose love and avoid hate and why should art be beautiful when percieved ugliness has equal depths of interest. I simply can’t draw a line through which I can catagorise subjective opinion with any constant, which results in an openess, allowing  a greater exploration through assumption. I find it curious because it is from the polarity of experiential circumstance that I believe allows us to feel and experience existence to the greatest depths.

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We human beings are quite funny creatures and led  in so many curious ways, we believe in god’s we’ve never witnessed, to the point where we group together under the flags of religion carrying out atrocities in their name. And if it’s not religion we are governed by systems and individuals who feel that we are not worthy or capable of knowing the truth. Governed through deception and lies which undermines the integrity of humanity and sets a precedent for corruption  as a credible mechanism for getting on in life. The magnitude of the lies which are forced upon us really bothers me and a lot of other people too, which is why so many conspiracy theories are abound. I for one still do not know if a human being has stepped on the moon and more recently I felt lied to about the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Now I could be wrong  but the fact I have no trust in the governing bodies of states and countries is not without reason. I’m not going to get carried away with a political point beyond reasoning why my mind is always questioning the validity  of all that is put in front of me.

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The upshot of my experiences within contemporary society are stark because I’ve not been distracted by fighting for a position and I’ve had no comforts in which to escape from the intensity of  being an exposed artist. So through circumstance I’ve pushed through states of creative possibility which I could have remained in, choosing uncertainty and depth as a means to achieve a greater level of integrity. To keep on going instead of consolidating ideas into a means of commercialising my art. Becoming an inconvenienece to the smooth  insertion of art into the market place with my slightly awkwardly interesting art.

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This journey has taught me about the fragments of life which add up to the whole, the uncertainty of everything, the multi dimensional, and the importance of truth. And it’s the humility of not knowing which allows me to pursue possibilities beyond my grasp, because they are as valid as any other possibility. This approach has become etched into my artistic vocabulary and it’s almost like I have a new starting point which says anything is possible if you feel the need to explore and express it.

Seasons Greetings 🙂

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