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The Art of Being Free

July 27, 2019

4 From an artists perspective I feel that the “art world” is a reflection of society, used to support and uphold the establishment. It’s a precedent reinforced througout history, in that the commissioning of art became a duty to holders of power and money. Art subsequently became a mechanism for the power players, such as religious institution, political power holders and the rich. It’s a curious tradition and one that is so deely engrained in the practice of art, that it is hard to break free from.

In one sense I feel that art has become an unwitting  prisoner to a tradition stitched into the fabric of hierarchical and patriarchal society. A contrivance protected by institutions and academic rhetoric which has limited connections to the fundamental truths of free expression. An art world which excludes many free thinking artists, leaving them to perish on whatever scraps are available. I could dwell on the painful life of poverty and the creative compromise that smothers these artists, compromising the truth of human expression, but I won’t. Instead I’ll celebrate the remarkable journey it takes to extricate oneself from engrained thinking and the spirit of optimism it takes to succeed. By succeed I refer to a more personal evolution, through the realisation and understanding of a purpose and to actually see for yourself.

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In my own journey as an artist I’ve grown to recognise that what I’ve been taught about art and its history, is just an imposition on human creativity and that art is actually anything one feels that it is. It’s not so much about achievement and recognition, but instead an expression of being, the soul connection from which you can express your truth through the marks you make. This connection being an area of great importance in the recognition of who and what you are in relation to the time and place of existence. In my thinking as an artist, I try to explore my own context to the extraordinary act of existing, which has no tangible boundaries. Exploring art freely without the need for reference to conventionaly engrained thinking.

I’ve always attempted to create art without compromise, searching for a simple and fundamental truth, but in reality it has proved to be a near impossibility . Perhaps what I was looking for was a deeper understanding of life, a way of connecting to my humanity and finding a purpose. It’s been an interesting experience in which the art I’ve made has become a by-product of a spiritual journey of growth and understanding.  By casting off the shackles of social conditioning through my approach to art I now feel able to see and reflect upon life without (too much) prejudice. I feel that it’s a form of liberation from the ways of seeing imposed upon me by the generalizations and uniformity of societal convenience.

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Rebelling against the conventions of society is a social norm and a bit of a cliche for the artist, but it’s an unavoidable conflict when you’re dealing with the freedom of human expression versus bureaucracy. And there are consequences to these acts of rebellion particulary with the personal psychological effects, as you slowly deconstruct your socialized traits of being. It’s not just about trading the security of convention and societal protection for the unknown, but also the requirement of the artist to share and expose the intimacy of their thoughts and ideas for the dissemination and judgement of others. You stick your head on the block without any protection and you face the consequences.

I’ve found the process of my personal evolution to be most complex and extremely testing on all levels because my direction has been somewhat counter-intuitive to a successful outcome within the realms of society. There have been phases where I grew and evolved without dilution, but as a younger person I felt I needed validation and acceptance to survive in the material world. This compromise turned out to be a slightly poisoned chalice and led to a level of creative subordination, a trap which I fell into without truly understanding. All I was aware of was a level of discontent and an inability to recognise a fundamental truth from within the art world. An inconvenience which delayed my personal evolution into the knowing of and being myself.

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In my current phase of thinking I now believe that my role as an artist is not that of a performer for the puppet masters of society but instead a more fundamental expressor of human consciousness, exploring a perceived connection to the reality of my sentient life. I also really don’t know if I still have the need or desire to make any more art at this juncture, because the purpose no longer feels to be there. By this I mean there is a oneness between what I’ve made and how I feel as a person, it may just be a natural resting point. I guess we never really know what lies ahead which is what makes life such an interesting adventure as it unfolds in real time.

As I try to look forward my aim is to explore the full gammet of emotions and feelings towards and from life. The love, the hate, the passive, the beautiful, the ugly, the indifferent and the dammed wretchedness too. And it’s through this open exploration that I hope to arrive with some fascinating ideas and hopefully surprise myself. But fundamental to my art is the pursuit of truth because this is where I think the true value of creativity lies. And this is because I feel that one of the most poignant aspects of art is its ability to stop us in our tracks with a reaction. To stop us and make us think and readdress our perceptions of life and the world around us on all levels. Art providing an invitation for us to just let go, setting our souls free so that we can just enjoy being without any baggage.

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Thanks for looking and have a great day 🙂

4 Comments
  1. It’s nice to see your post Eoghan, I haven’t seen anything from you for awhile. A natural resting point sounds like a nice place to be for the moment. I also struggle with the purpose of creating, but I still make stuff. I wish you all the best

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully expressed x

    Liked by 1 person

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