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February 20, 2018


“The meaning of art” well it’s the big one, a huge topic contemplated and cogitated over by many an artist,  a bit like trying to define the meaning of life or even defining art. Whilst there’s no singular universal meaning, artists do offer meaningful content with an opinion. Work that will undoubtedly be perceived differently by each individual gaze, further complicating the possibility of quantifying any universal meaning.


Within the context of meaningfulness, my art often separates from the struggle with aesthetic based production, veering towards a recognition of experiential discovery. It may just be reflective thoughts or a random statement. A way of communicating from the multitude of simultaneous possibilities and from my broadening perceptions of reality where absolutism and singularity is scrutinised. Art that can be any form of free human expression, expressed without boundaries through gestures, marks, colours, sounds, words, nothingness and anything which can be experienced though sensory perception. Art being everything and everything being art.


My contribution is to make art, reflect upon it and then make some more, an activity I’ve been doing for over thirty years.  And yes, I’m Hindered by a few lingering  prerequisites, like a search for truth and open-mindedness, a fundamental questioning of existence (the whys? the whos? and the hows?), and not to forget my search for the inner state called freedom. I’m also aware that my creative state of being ( that is: The being laid bare and opened up by the relentless flow of unanswerable questions) won’t allow me to take anything for granted, beyond a feeling that there is always something waiting to be discovered and so the search always begins again and again in perpetuity. Beginning through the marks made and recorded, each mark raising a question about what to do next, the series of marks building up to create a bigger picture, again requiring reflection. A process that is a journey of discovery and enlightenment, a non linear journey of personal growth made to share. And when the ideas have run dry, random marks and vague utterances will suffice as signifiers of the possibilities held within the banks of latent potential. The latent potential that is within and without the crazy state of cosmic existence we take for granted. The journey of discovery made all the more exciting by the exhaustive searching of imagined possibility.


This creative process of mine, leads to extreme levels of questioning beyond conventional boundaries, often resulting in a deconstruction of identity. A deconstruction of perceived assumption/wisdom which allows a journey to the hidden depths of being. Into the void of untold possibility, to a place beyond imagination and comfort. This deconstruction an important part of the creative process because if we think we know who and what we are, then we may be tempted to operate within our limitations. In this realm of creativity we discover that we are perhaps more akin to a blank canvas than the absolute incarnation of who we think we are. This rigorous questioning of everything (which is often mistaken for Cynicism) acts as an enabler for personal growth because it creates a space to go beyond imposed limitation. Perhaps that art which is made with the open mind and minimal contrivance can deliver a deeper meaning, because it explores, exposes and uncovers mystery whilst going some way towards explaining it.


In some ways we all understand ourselves and our identity with varying degrees of limitation, but through the forensic questioning of self, deception can be exposed and assumptions become increasingly transparent. So how can I make art if I don’t really know who I am? well sometimes I can’t, which is why sometimes I don’t. Instead I spend my time thinking and just live my life contemplating the questions and meaning that art has brought to my conscious state. It is here at the crux of my art based reflections where I get the closest to understanding my existence, through the meaning which art delivers deep within my being. A meaning that is most profound and beyond the limitations of futile boundaries, possibly some way towards existential freedom. A place where my art is the only fundamental reality that I can believe in, simply because it’s the only tangible result of my life’s contemplations.  Artful expressions being the confluence of everything that has entered my state of existence and stream of consciousness.


So art is like a confrontation, a veritable battlefield and in my current state of being I really don’t know who I am. I don’t know why I’m alive or even what life is, furthermore I don’t know anyone that truly has this divine knowledge. Yet I think I know I exist because I’m able to experience sensory stimulation, but beyond that I’m really confused about who and what I am. Yes I occupy a space and an identity within society and I make up part of the statistics, but this is in one sense a contrivance for the convenience of social order. A place within society that I feel separates me from the fundamental truths and questions of existence. And it is here that art comes into its own because it connects us to the source of life through impulse, intuition and feeling.

Fracked 1

This adventure we call life teaches about the importance of change and the state of flux we are in, a life beyond absolutes and linear constraints. Art offering a glimpse of freedom beyond the confines of indoctrination and the self-imposed imprisonment. Art being a life line which can guide us to enlightenment and freedom, an invitation to a place without governance. A place without the constraints of nationhood, language, religion or any formal structures. Art a sanctuary, a place of pure anarchy where their’s no hierarchy or defacto ruling, a place beyond good or bad or even right or wrong. Because art is an untamable beast driven by the raw passion of our life force, it is beautiful and ugly all at the same time because it’s everything and anything, objective, subjective, irritating, compelling and yes this list could go on forever untill I run out of words. And when I run out of words I can once again tap into the infinite languages of art.


To summarize my article about “the meaning of art” in this moment I would  describe art as a teacher, or a mirror through which we can see ourselves and start to understand the fundamental nature of being. A guide to ways of seeing and perceiving life from within and without.   However due to the transient nature of being I can in the next breath describe it as something completely different, simply because I don’t wish to be rooted in any doctrine or the specificity of expected social norms. And with this in mind I could say that art is a pathway to human freedom because it’s encompasses so much, a gift to the conscious state of being that we are so lucky to hold. I could also write that art is able to demonstrate the futile, the extraordinary and the mundane in its blind celebration of ego. Because art is a variable feast, subject to the taste, the judgement and the expectations of the individual as well as to the perception of the shared experience. So whether together or alone we can experience who we are through our reactions in the moment as we are confronted by works of art.


Thanks for looking and have a great day 🙂

  1. Anonymous permalink

    Thanks Eoghan.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Witchyangel permalink

    happy Birthday , I hope that day will be good for You and filled with sense of freedom 😉


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