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The strands of my existence

January 14, 2016

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In the process of making art, I question what comes into my mind as I sift through my life experience and reactions to the circumstance of my existence. It’s a complicated process because it involves many strands, from societal imposition and expectation, to the possibilities of freedom and intuition. But which ever way you look at it we are governed on many levels from our cosmic consciousness to the petty institutionalisation of small community practice. In a way it’s a beautiful problem because of the sheer magnitude which faces us and as an artist I try to make some sense out of it all. To find reason and purpose out of a life that has been shattered by the confrontation with an impossible reality. However there is more than one reality and if you choose the socially engineered one and accept it without question, it must surely limit artistic endeavour to the confines of conformist ideologies. But if you question it to destruction you face a life built on the ruins of assumed wisdom, a collective wisdom that exists in the isolation of a prescribed civilized collusion.

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This questioning put pressure on me to extricate myself from the tangled web of society, so that I may find the space to discover my true self and work from these inherent values of being.  You see, I feel the meaning of existence goes beyond the bounds of limited governance, because as an artist I felt like a prisoner confined to a discipline under the watchful eye of a society held together by mutual denial. A society based on the suppression of possibility and confined to an extraordinary path of exploration and exploitation. A society which has no obvious direction beyond the implementation of restricted values of hierarchy, consumption and social control. I don’t want to labour this point, but only to highlight the futility of living a life without substance beyond the desire and satisfaction of material commodities. And it is here where my creativity has taught me about the true value of art, and in effect led to a deeply troubling time as I fought to find a satisfactory way forward. A solution to making authentic art  and surviving in a society which refuses to acknowledge authenticity beyond the simplistic fiscal values of capitalism, the art of business dictating the business of art.

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My direction was ultimately dictated by the dissatisfaction with my circumstance and the dance I was expected to do with my art, to conform with the institutions and expectations of society. But art had already got a hold of me and invited me to seek a deeper truth beyond that of the compromised search for success within the institutionalised establishment ethos. And so for a long time I protected my innocence without even knowing and maintained a very individual approach to art based on a very personal trajectory and whilst I often arrive at quite conventional outcomes it’s through an almost reversed approach. Factors such as being colour blind haven’t helped but over time I was able to use colour from a slightly odd approach. However my biggest challenge was to break out of the specificity of my own limited imagination and this took a lifes work, just to be able to stretch my inherent possibilities in a lateral dimension.

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As I now progress with my work  I feel the process of art eroding my once rational state and logical mindset, exposing the complexities of human creativity, something which goes beyond words and I’m  unable to understand in a simplistic way. It’s almost like being shredded into the strands of your own existence, strands which dance with the multiplicity of possibilities. Linear and lateral strands not necessarily fixed in time space or place, but just part of the complex essence of existence, both tangible and intangible, all of which appears through the marks of art. These strands which exist on so many levels of perceptive possibilities connect to create and whilst there is a tendency to want to grasp something to hold onto, you know that by clinging you will limit your options. So you can’t nail your flag to the mast and make categorical statements, even though it would benefit your material well-being and status in society. This dilemma casts you into a world of uncertainty, a world in which your identity feels transient and ephemeral marked out through creative gestures. Each gesture a representation of specific connections of consciousness from the infinite possibilities out there available to us all. And this is why I find it hard to be an artist whilst feeling like a spiritual prisoner of a society built on generality, convenience and social control, because art for me is about freedom.

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Through this approach of mine it becomes clear that there is no constant and that we are in a constant state of flux, reacting and acting in the moment and because of this art becomes an unpredictable feast unfolding in real-time. As an artist I’ve gone beyond what I though I was capable of and yet I feel a profound dissatisfaction with my achievement, which is what drives me to continue to look for something new. I also feel profoundly insecure and that when I touch upon something special I feel it may never happen again and so I rely on a deep faith in the human condition that something will appear to satiate my desire. But I also realise that ultimately there is no satisfaction from the finite gestures of my existence unless I accept the values which society uses to judge and archive achievement.

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I think life is too valuable and art is too precious to be sacrificed for the benefit of ego and vanity, so I try to find  ways of continuing my artistic journey with a solution specific to the needs of my quest. A path of independence which reflects not only my reality within the system but also the human reality which guides my existence. And so I work in what is becoming a multi disciplinary approach where the emphasis is on intuition and impulse and then a reflection of my gestures, from which I build a picture and form an understanding of my own being. This way I can be assured of the knowledge of my own experience and build on these gestures with some form of developmental arc, so as to satisfy my curiosity and hopefully realise the purpose I feel within my soul. My art serving as a guide awakening me to new possibilities through the translation of my seemingly random gestures, shaking me from the complacency of my comfort zone. And through this approach I’m able to move forward, led by any one of the strands of my approach, which in turn will stimulate a further reaction within and some further connectivity. I’m really struggling to explain this, but put simply it’s about an interpretation of my subconscious artistic gestures and the partial understanding of them which leads me to a higher level of awareness or a progression. An acquisition of knowledge through creativity which leads to a developmental shift and something which I can only discover through an empirical approach. So there is a tandem effect in which my rational thinking catches up with my intuition and I learn to accept ideas that were beyond my grasp, all of which pushes me further into my unknown. And I have to face the truth that my knowledge is proportionately miniscule to the infinite possibilities out there. But at least through my art I have a greater understanding of my space and place in time and the effects of being upon all those factors.

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My work has evolved in a way which has surprised me and I use whatever means I can to express myself regardless of the outcome or commodity. Again this is an area which felt awkward for me and because of this I chose to just independently pursue my own direction feeling that art is all about an expression in the moment. And finally all the above, is the reason why I don’t pursue a direct or obvious narrative through my work, because my interest in life is of the timeless nature of our condition. The human condition in connection to the cosmological reality as opposed to the body politic of nation.

 

Thank you for looking and have a beautiful day ❤

 

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