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The Art of Fluidifying Identity

February 21, 2019

#Tooty Two Too

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I find it hard to keep track of linear timelines so when I say I started blogging about seven years ago it is with a bit of give and take. Anyway I’d felt troubled and unable to express myself, perhaps it was the years of solitude and lifes stinky pressures, but whatever it was, the it had made me feel locked in. As an artist I felt unable to express myself with any meaning or purpose, wrestling with the strength to be honest and candid. So I blogged, did social media and real life stuff too, messing about with art, writing and any form of expression I could play with. I just wanted to feel free to express myself in an honest and fearless way, so that I could offer something of value as an artist.

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I didn’t think it would take so long to find my way but it did,  seven years (I think), firstly there was the painful deconstruction and then the rebuilding from the wreckage and finally a year to reflect, out and away from art. It’s funny life, because often you just amble along blissfully unaware of who and what you are because everything feels alright. But then when it all goes wrong and you try to resolve your despair, it’s a whole new game which can be profoundly complex. The truth is that the whole experience exposed deep flaws within my approach to life which effected my approach to art and social interaction. I’d become closed and defensive from the years of being judged as an artist and I just needed to walk away from myself and who I’d become.

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During this time I’ve found the whole process of blogging very cathartic and empowering on a few levels. Firstly I found a way of articulating thoughts and then by finding the courage to share my thoughts I felt able to state anything I wished, this in turn helped my art because I felt able to share and explore any ideas with a reduced level of fear. Now my art had no rules to follow and it didn’t matter if people liked it or not, because I was finding the courage to openly express myself once again. Art was becoming an open expression for me, without the need for a space, place or recognition, it didn’t even have to exist. I knew my art was neither good or bad because I realised that such judgements are based purely on subjective criteria.

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The struggle which I’ve gone through has really opened my eyes and allowed me to see how within my society I had become institutionalised by the convention of institution and establishment protocols. I felt I had to learn to see the world through my own eyes and to decipher my own interpretation and take on life. And it was highlighted through my struggle to justify my own work to myself after it was rejected formally wherever I offered it within the art world. Here I was able to see that the freedom of art is compromised by the movers and shakers of the art world and furthermore it highlighted the whole categorisation of art within society as nothing more than an invented human made concept. In turn I became aware that society is often led and governed by past precedents that often fail under scrutiny yet we follow them without questioning. Moreover I saw art within society as an area which has become corrupted by the rich as they playfully buy and sell it in the public domain, using it for purposes beyond the respectful sharing of human expression.

THE TIPPING POINT

I really don’t want to appear negative in my writing and sharing of thoughts because I’ve always looked for positives even in the darkest of places. And this whole adventure of mine or life as its formally known is about exploring freedom and understanding existence through human expression. However it can become really complex and compromised by the circumstance and formalities of society. The thing is that I can’t help but see art as an open language of human expression and communication, bound only by the limitation of the mind and senses. And it’s in this invitation to explore freedom that you feel your wings have been clipped by the formal conditioning which society imposes upon people in order to establish control and order.

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The good news for me is that I think I understand my predicament now and that I’m psychologically strong enough to explore the possibilities without the need for any reward or validation. I also feel capable of exploring more extraordinary ideas without the need to justify it to myself as being relevant to anything, because there really are no boxes to tick. After all art is really quite anarchistic, an open exploration of the great abyss, using whatever materials or methods are available. I do have a lot of work to do and ground to cover but with art you always feel at the beginning with an eternal “begin again” mentality. And that is the attraction of art, hope optimism and discovery, it’s just like a big playground for the imagination and senses to explore.

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On a more pragmatic note I’m aware that through my work I will also have to make a living and just maybe that will ground me and keep me centred as I move along. But whatever happens along the road I feel prepared to embrace change with a more fluid approach. Even my identity feels more fluid now as a result of my soul-searching, which is also a reflection of the time in which we live.

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Art really is about ecstasy and despair, highs and lows and the great contrasts which create dissonance and tension from which creativity emerges. And as an artist ones life becomes subjected to this torment as you tear yourself apart in the life-long search for inspiration. It can never be easy and if it is, it’s because you’re not trying hard enough. And yet for all the effort you pour into your art there’s only ever a brief moments of satisfaction with the odd good work because when you’ve finished something, it falls into the past as you have to move forward. Moving forward with the blank canvas or bag of clay (or empty space), which needs that inspiration to fill, form and shape, trapped in the begin again cycle.

Thanks for reading and have a great day. 🙂

 

3 Comments
  1. Janet Rutigliano permalink

    So glad you’re back…there’s my validation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janet and thanks ☺️ I hope all is well with you.

      Like

      • Janet M Rutigliano permalink

        Ah, no need to blush. 🙂 I am well; just trying to get through a very cold, snowy winter. Really craving spring.

        Like

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