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The Art of Art

Fracked 1

All I ever wanted to be was an artist and to actually understand what art is without meaningless distraction. To make art without compromise and art without the prejudice of elitist ideologies. Art by the people for the people so that creativity can be celebrated without the nonsense and interference of the elite. Sounds pretty simple, I know, but in practice the complexity of creating imagery is infinite.

Duality

To realise my intent I’ve had to live an ordinary life in an ordinary place and really just be a part of the so-called normality of typical suburban life. What should have been the realisation of a simple truth has been a journey of utmost complexity and one in which I eventually became lost and entirely caught up within the web which holds so many people in bondage. Held by the mechanisms imposed upon us all, which ensure our compliance and maintain the social order within a hierarchy. Held by the pressures of expectation both internally and externally and by what I believe are misguided traditions and values imposed on art and artists by society.

Impact

Sometimes I fear that what I’m achieving as an artist may never be understood or recognised because of my unconventional approach of being conventional. Because in making art without any carefully constructed narrative or contrived context it seems that the establishment simply can’t understand the essence of raw human creativity. It would appear to me that within this over prescribed society of convenience that we are losing the ability to think for ourselves. Losing the courage to relate to real art in case it’s not accepted into the generality of our collective consciousness. That is without the endorsements of leadership people are unable to commit to the unknown, not only out of fear but also because of lack of understanding of self. Because of this, the diversity of art is compromised at the expense of our cultural potential.

Appreciation

If we are told how to think and shown what is appropriate we become compliant and obedient to the whim of the state and those in whose interest it is to maintain the status quo. It’s like Stockholm syndrome in which the population is held under the spell of the state, free to the point which is deemed safe. Through art I learned to question everything and I also found answers which allowed me to liberate myself and start my long journey towards freedom. But to do this I’ve had to all but drop out of society and live a frugal life of immense material struggle, in the sea of an affluent society. It’s a time when you discover who your friends are and endure the isolation, but it’s worth it because our truth is precious.

Funked Up

To achieve my feeling of freedom I had to endure a period of sensory deprivation and learn to ignore the noise and sights imposed on my life. To switch off my radio, television and phone, so that I couldn’t be bombarded by the endless noise of, news, music, film, advertising and all the potent indoctrination of state. To sit alone in my own metaphorical darkened room so that I may actually discover who I am outside of the noisy and distracted world. And if I was lucky I might just discover my own form of creative vocabulary free from the imposition of contrived wisdom. To exist as an artist free from bullying and liberated to the extent of producing imagery in which I whole-heartedly believe in.

Lets dance 1

As an artist I now dare to be different and do what the hell I please with my art, but it wasn’t always this way because I too suffered from the general malaise I referred to earlier. However I awoke from my slumber in the realisation that if I as a free artist was unable to be free then I wasn’t doing my duty as an artist and that my life would be a wasted  opportunity. In that sense I feel that the artist in society has a significant function in providing a window to the soul, it’s just unfortunate that an artist such as myself is constantly denied the platform in which to show art to the world. Though I realise that my message is slightly subversive and is all about awakening to a deeper level of consciousness. Questioning the essence of our existence and agitating the facade so that one can glimpse into the other realities of being. I believe my work differs from the general art trends with the growing fascination for style over substance, where by my search for substance compromises style.

Must be an angel 1

Why I speak of style over substance, is because in the modern trending of art, we see an evolution of styles and ism’s, which is just a way of redressing the same human creative urge. It ties in with the social and political changes, for fashion and commerce but in a sense it’s all just about reinventing the wheel again and again and again, giving a sense of accelerated evolution. And so, rapidly everything becomes last season when in fact I believe creativity is a timeless essence of humanity, though sadly I believe we’re all becoming caught up in a tidal wave and agitated into compliant thinking. A world of one size fits all and the bland generality of viral nonsense and the shared mediocrity of globalisation.A world in which ultimately we are controlled by the small screen which has become our true companion.

Sitting Cat

I feel  I know the score sufficiently to be able to subvert my cause for notoriety, but I refuse to do this because I feel that it would subvert my art. So I stay true in the hope that one day I will have the opportunity to share my work on a more significant scale and if I don’t it doesn’t matter, because I will make the art I need to in order to live a fulfilled life. And that  will not be by living as an artist who’s oeuvre is defined by the market or establishment trending, producing art chasing popularity. But by answering the call to be an artist and exploring the human truth in the intimacy of my own reality. In the scheme of things my material compromise is a small price to pay for the realisation of  my personal significance. Because in my own life I’ve only ever found substance through the exploration of creativity to the point of feeling a profound purpose.

standing figure

I feel there is a deep logic behind my approach to art but that my art is not about a logical or rational approach. Although my approach has a certain amount of logic, it is also layered with the complexity of existence and experience, all that I can grasp and express, thrown down as speculative gestures. Art without absolutes or strict narratives because my art is about exploring the freedom of the human soul. The art of a deeper connection which eludes strict definition and absolute understanding, in the shifting circumstance of an evolving life and consciousness.

That Bull

Thanks for Looking ❤ ❤ ❤

And have a beautiful day 🙂

Art About the Face

Below are a selection of studies, some of which I started in the 1990’s. They are all part of an evolving element of my work which has in the past been put on hold, due to the pressures of surviving as an artist.

A most peculiar feeling 1

Through my art I like to challenge objectification and explore a more metaphorical approach to my imagery. To challenge notions of beauty by offering alternative imagery which has its own unique beauty.

A Resolute Focus

In the free exploration of imagery I like to test out ideas which fall into my path and ways of thinking which complement and challenge tradition. It always feels like I produce studies and I seldom reach a conclusion, because I feel aware that change is always an option with my next step.

The extraordinary act of experiencing adversity

I don’t actually know what is beautiful and what is ugly because everything is relative to fluctuating circumstance. However I have discovered beauty in ugliness and ugliness in beauty. Now my priority is creating interesting imagery which I hope is thought provoking.

The man with the holy cheek 1

After thirty years of sculpture I can’t supress the excitement I get from using colour and experimenting with imagery in the moment.

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Thanks for looking beautiful people ❤

 

The Art of Despair

 

237Sometimes I feel that I’m finding my way through a misguidance of societal doctrine and liberating the  values I feel closer to my own truth. Something which has created a dilemma because I feel it’s exposed the limitations of how art is perceived through its use in society. I understand that society needs a certain amount of beaureucracy and order, but I’m also aware that art must challenge the restrictive practice of institutional policy. Otherwise artists and art will be tamed to fit within the framework of a convenient lineage, its future is laid out and in waiting. All this for convenience so that we can rest assured that everything has its right place in an increasingly prescriptive society.

Sweet vagaries of life at last I've found you

I often wonder just how do you survive as an artist and produce work freely which may have no place within your society. Well the answer from my experience so far is that you can’t, because when you step out of line nobody wants a piece of the action, ostensibly out of fear. Fear, because recognition of art is based on subjective agreement and understanding, so art without boundaries is complicated and without certainty. It therefore takes courage and belief for someone to stand up and champion the cause of an artist without any supporting validations. Particularly if the work is original, unproven and challenging.

Curious Encounter 1

I believe many artists perish in creative terms because of the subjective nature of societal judgement, because art is neither good or bad beyond this varying subjective criteria. The problem is that with our human insecurities and fear of exposure people club together to validate certain art, artists and arts movements. They also choose to ignore and reject the art of eqally valid contributors. The validations of art are as relevant as they are irrelevant and just contribute to the broader narrative of  a society looking in a specific direction. A society built upon establishing precedents which create a history a present and a future direction. A society obsessed with introspection and academic analysis to the point of being unable to see without  over-loaded preconceptions. The problem is that we are now so overloaded and saturated that we are becoming blind and stupefied by excess  in every possible sense. I as an artist feel this ridiculous pressure which affects my daily life.

Interaction 1

It’s not easy for artists because to fit in and prosper you must conform and if not your inconvenience to the system is punished by exclusion. The big issue is that art has a tendency to be subversive and deviate from conventional wisdom and even though that may just be a slight philosophical shift, it’s enough to warrant dismissal. Of course my opinion is singular and biased because I am one, like any other and my theoretical analysis is based on my own experience and interactions. But what I’ve grown to realise, is that my sole responsibility is to art and the imagery I produce, regardless of how it’s received.

colourful reflections 1

And so to my own life as an artist, with thirty years of hurt, I still feel despair  on a daily basis. Yet I battle on with a futile optimism living in hope and belief, a life compromised because I dared to follow a dream and a belief, funnily enough one that I still believe in. It’s been a crazy life and I’m still dancing to my own tune, (just) having fought off all he challenges. But only now is my imagery flowing with truth and authenticity as I find that singular connection to the core of my existence.

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The last few years have been particularly tough, because I had to change my practice in order to realise my ideas, but I’ve made that transition from sculpture, through a vast collection of drawings and prints. I’ve also learned to write in an open and honest way about life and art, and I can’t tell you just how liberating that is, because it now overflows and spills out into my reality.

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As an artist I’ve had to blossom as a single bloom and there is no real connection out there in the world beyond the way I openly share my imagery. This position has come about through circumstance and my dogged determination to remain true to my own cause in spite of all the pressures. I guess in the end there is a tendency to adopt a siege mentality and an over defensive approach in order to maintain a level of self-preservation, which is where I’m at right now. Maybe in time I will mellow, but right now I’m still sick of the feeling of being judged as an artist and just want to walk freely. After all art is what it is to everyone and we all hold an opinion relevant to our own journey.

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I think the most profound aspect of being an artist for me is the realisation that art transcends generalisation and stereotyping, because it simply cannot conform to absolutes. To this sense it becomes futile to aspire to anything beyond the act of expression, simply because validation is subjective. And here lies the trap for the ambitious souls who seek status for their efforts, because validation is a meaningless vanity unless it’s backed up by a truth of being in which you implicitly understand achievement relative to perceived potential. Here again I go against the notion of hierarchy, to state that art it is not a race or a competition with others but a realisation of ones potential. So I say art is beyond finite judgment and being subject to subjectivity, an artist must find inner contentment in spite of circumstance. And this is why I’ve always walked alone as an artist, because I simply don’t want to be connected to something which I don’t believe in. I don’t wish to get involved in debates about the minutiae of intent involving approaches to art from which I feel unable to identify with, because my life has already been subject to way too much compromise.

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In fact all I ever wanted to do was just make a bit of art to express myself and all that it’s done is bring everything crashing down upon me so that I feel battered and bruised. Like I’ve been punished for daring to live with a sense of freedom in the prison of society. But it’s probably my search for truths  which has led me to my greatest triumphs and tribulations. You see I could never understand why there were no answer to the big questions, which led me to observing the compromise that society demands. Such as to stop asking impossible questions which expose the parameters of societal imposition and instead adopt the platitudes and mantras of convention. I felt my observations  demonstrated the cut off points at which we surrender to the greater good of compromised existence. So as I searched in solitude for truth, in the questioning and contemplation of my art, I was reaching conclusions which were unsuitable for the polite ways of the art world. The fact is that the true breadth of my art was not convenient for the palette of the art world establishment and so I was forced into selecting an element of it. I was discovering that candid truth was unacceptable on all levels to the point now where we have to do and say all the right things to get on in a society built around economic principles. But as a kid who was I to challenge the establishment when I didn’t even understand myself.

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Now as I look back I feel I would have made some different choices had I the knowledge I’ve since earned. Though all is not lost and I just hope through my accelerated process of realising ideas through drawing that I may reach the potential I feel is and always has been within my grasp. It is a cruel world for artists who are in the firing line of an ideological struggle and with nowhere to turn you just have to absorb the impacts of difference and try to hold onto your integrity. It’s weird but after thirty years of creating art, society appears quite transparent to me, almost like an imposed structure and I feel there’s a bigger picture relating to our humanity that you experience with freedom.

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I know that out of the countless art works I’ve made that there have been a few innovative and significant pieces, but they went unrecognised as if cloaked with invisibility and this made me realise that I couldn’t trust in my society. But I also realised that I couldn’t trust in myself or my own ability or judgment beyond self. So I had to find myself and my real values if I was to rescue myself from a life of complete disillusion. A life of chasing shadows in the hope that one day  my work would be understood was not an option. Because in chasing, I realised that I was distracted from the purpose of my art, distracted into the shallows of existence for the shallow rewards of vanity. And so I looked to find satisfaction in the singularity of my own existence and find happiness from my life of unbridled creativity.

Mysticles 1

I finally realised that whilst ever I was held under the spell and enchantment of my society I could never release myself from the overwhelming disappointment and feelings of failure and futility. Because I was held within a set of beliefs and assumed knowledge which very much define our status and I didn’t believe in them. This competitive society which crushes and bullies sensitive souls always appeared to be marching towards nowhere. But having the strength of character and belief to redefine the relevance of my own reality according to the human values I feel within, was my biggest test and ultimately my salvation which would release me from my state of despair. Whilst this sounds simple, it wasn’t for me because like with my own art it required a huge shift in my ways of seeing and a change of my value systems. I just needed to find a way to enjoy the fruits of my creativity even if their value is never recognised or acknowledged in any way by any other. In one sense I’d been driven into a corner and what may have appeared to be a nihilistic approach of accepting defeat was in fact an act of optimism and hope. A rebirth from a different perspective which is allowing my art to flourish once again.

Thanks for looking  and as always have a great day ❤

The Art of Inspiration

 

strung out in the cosmic vortexIt’s been four years since I started to write about art and I’m amazed how complex it is to actually articulate what the process entails. The sheer diversity and lateral complexity of a subject with no defined borders is mind-blowing and yet decisions must me made in order to produce work. Through writing I hope to touch upon the process of my own creative mindset and share what I feel is a rich experience for me. It is very much the writing of a singular mind with a strong bias and I make no great universal claims beyond my attachment to the cosmic whole. What I can say, is that through my writing, I’ve been able to make significant developments with my work,  allowing me to move forward at a more significant pace.

Sporting Chance

In the increasingly prescriptive western societies it’s becoming harder to touch the source of artistic inspiration and produce work without a contrived bias. These pressures are very much driven by the ideologies and fiscal values of a society of convenience. A hierarchical society which maintains a status quo because it exists and as always fears change. My issue is that I feel restricted and curtailed by such ideologies which govern our lives at the expense of authentic human values. It is in fact a huge problem with far-reaching ramifications that limits the experience of existence by restricting our diversity. And it also leaves art vulnerable to manipulation from those who wield power through their financial status, yes that would be the stinky rich people who oversee our existence from their detached existence. 🙂

Soul Sister

As an artist you can conform and contrive your art to fit within a system, but in doing so you may sacrifice the authenticity of your art. The one form of human creativity which should hold a torch so that we may delve into the abyss of our humanity and perhaps better understand ourselves. In one sense it’s almost impossible for artists not to conform for many reasons but the main two in my opinion are, the isolation it demands and the fiscal penalties it delivers. Another problem is finding a way to know thyself because even though you may think you’re free, there is a whole lot of self-deception out there, something which I know only too well following my years of self deconstruction. A period in which I’ve uncovered some of my own truths and delusions.

morning drawing resized

Art is of course a huge challenge for the general public and artists alike, for artists subversion is always present and for the ordinary people there is a confusion between the art they see and what they are told that art is. It’s complicated enough for practitioners to even understand what art is, because nothing is simple or clear-cut. The problem is that the ambiguous nature of art allows self-declared experts to impose values and meaning upon art. And so art becomes a pawn in society on both political and social levels, but what you must remember is that no one holds the key to any divine knowledge of art. Well I say no one holds the key but on reflection I should have said everyone holds the key, because that is nearer he truth as I see it. Art made for the people is the art of truth in which there is no conspiracy.

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What I personally believe (at this moment in time) is that the systems in place influence our opinions and interpretation of art to fit within limited confines. So an agenda is set and we follow within the field of assumed knowledge, yes we have freedom to explore but there is a length to our chains. For instance in my own life I don’t want to be a contemporary artist or an urban artist, because I just want to express myself however I see fit and I see these fads, fashions and ism’s as a trivial distraction from the profundity of human expression. Labels of convenience to restrict the practice of creativity and impose parameters which stifle free expression. Yes, people will say you are free to do what you want and in one sense you are but as an artist you need to live and sometimes this forces you into compromise, because being an island isn’t sustainable.

Bad Ass Bull

Anyway, back to inspiration and the question of how to access it, particularly if your life is compromised. And again this is such a complicated area because inspiration can take many forms and can be made to suit many purposes, such is the extent of our socially engineered states of being. I’m tying myself in knots here  🙂 because the fact is that our values are so engrained by what are assumed values. Yet in my art I’m seeking fundamental truths which contradict the generalised model for human values which is forced upon us. So in my mind there is a fog of confusion surrounding inspiration and intuition because we are not encouraged to nurture this part of our humanity, we’re not encouraged because it’s an inconvenience that would undermine authority on many levels, because we would question more and look for change. Not to mention the impact on our economic model, a bizarre system in which we live out our lives, our needs being met through fiscal exchange

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So inspiration is not only hard to find but also complicated and following it has serious implications because of where it might lead you, particularly if you embrace the more unconventional. This is where the leap of faith is necessary and the courage to front up, not only to the consequences in terms of art produced but also the response which the work solicits. For me this rebound effect of the reactions my work creates has always inhibited my art until now because of the deep insecurities I have, insecurities which I believe are the result of the humility I feel as being just another ordinary person. But there is a defiant quality within me which protects me from true submission and allows me to quietly evolve.

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What finally drove me towards a deeper creative truth was an unbearable frustration that arose from being compromised, a desperation on realising that I may live out my entire life without realising my potential, through some kind of fear. That thought of living a life as a free artist in what would be a dereliction of duty just for a bit of popularity, was unthinkable. So I touched base allowed my intuition to kick in, found my inspiration and embraced uncertainty. Digging deep within my own psyche so that I may uncover my true self and produce ART.

Transition

So where has it got me, well firstly it’s driven me into absolute poverty, but in terms of human values, it’s brought me a richness that money can’t buy. On a spiritual level I’ve found a deeper wisdom through my awakening consciousness and produced work that is unexpectedly defining my oeuvre. It has also brought me a greater sense of humility in that I’m more aware of my limitations, just how much I don’t know or understand, let alone have answers for. And yes this is all relative to my own state of being which is all I have to guide me. But what I’m most proud of, is the authenticity of my art and how close I’m getting to being a true artist on a fundamental level, in my own eyes.

Have a beautiful day and thanks for looking 🙂

 

Art, it Changes Everything

 

196Art has a habit of pulling the rug from under me, particularly when I think I’ve got a handle on what it actually is. And I’m grateful to these life lessons because they nip conceit in the bud and remind me of my limitations.

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All I think I know is that art is an ever-changing phenomenon  reflecting the ephemerality  of existence. And that art simply isn’t destined to be caught and defined because to do so would require the possible conceit of an assumed wisdom. I did once think that I knew what art was until my mind was opened up by the practice of my own creativity. Now all I think I know is that art is a broad and flexible term, open to debate and interpretation.

Sure is Funky

Although there can be a generalised consensus on what art is, there is also a difference to how each and everyone perceives. Time also plays a hand as everything becomes caught in its gentle breeze of changing circumstance. And so as an artist you learn to dance to the changing tunes of time and place

love life 1

I think the beauty of art lies in the mystery it delivers without ever resolving the simple clarification of human creativity. A question reflected in our extraordinary existence that we experience in our brief state of being. I think that the complexity of art is further exasperated by the hold society takes over it and  its enforcement of finite limitations. So it is that the artist must rebel against authority and institution in the search for freedom.

Arty Phucker rides again

To exist as an artist is an incredible experience, though it is complicated, or at least it is for me, because I’ve grown to realise that there can never be a true realisation beyond gestures. So art is not about an absolute satisfaction but instead a voyage of discovery in which consciousness can develop and maybe even a more acute awareness of being.

To each their own 1

I was a sculptor once, but I became trapped within the art world and faced the possibility of living out my life without ever truly expressing myself. So I changed my direction, for the moment I produce these prints as a freely expressive artist and just enjoy the newly found freedom. I still  produce a few sculptures and I have no idea what the future holds for me,  the fact is I don’t really care either.

Let Me Go

I believe like the woman in the picture above, that sometimes you have to reach out and break free to find what you’re looking for. To find that reason for being by following your intuitive calling in spite of the distractions.

This beautiful mystery

Thanks for looking and have a beautiful day ❤

The Art of Exploration

Sometimes I feel a duty to explain some of the thinking behind my imagery, particularly when it veers into myterious realms. I think we all see the world slightly differently and I fear if my imagery is taken too literally that it will lose its impact as a metaphorical representation for a state of being.

Pathfinder

After five years of drawing and exploring my creativity I’m now able to further develop some of the resulting imagery.  It’s quite fascinating to just push the drawings around and see what I can squeeze out of them. Working with relative freedom and an open mind in terms of a more intuitive approach. Though it always comes down to the decision making process of whether it works or not on a visual level.

an external expression of inner turmoil 1

The resulting work is not some literal satement but more of a metaphorical gesture or feeling. These images arrive out of an intense immersion in the moment and only afterwards can I reflect on what the meaning may or may not be. But the process is one of an open exploration in the search of creating beyond contrivance. A search for something new and unexpected that will add something new to the creative output.

Sporting Chance

Existence is an incredible state, full of challenge and possibility and when you explore creativity it’s absolutely mind blowing. There are just so many permutations with each aspect of the process and in finding a way forward it can only really be a token gesture in one direction. So through my art I wish to explore a breadth of possibilities, even those that I am as yet unaware of.

Me and My Cat

Though I think it would be impossible to explore the full breadth of creative possibility, so it comes down to selective decision making. From my own  experience I’ve found that following the possibilities of a single idea can be mind boggling. So I satisfy myself by marking out an idea and moving on to another in what is becoming gestural art. Gestural art being in keeping with an approach that has no certainty, tempered by a reality in which there are no absolutes beyond assumption.

The extraordinary actuality of the moment.jpg

I neither set out with the intention of making my at beautiful or ugly but instead look to make thoughtfully constructed imagery. Whether art is popular or not is a point of significance in the new “like” environment of social media. But for me art is not about beauty or ugliness, nor good or bad, instead it’s a statement . And I believe that art needs to be looked at in a non judgmental light, so that it can be understood much better. With this in mind I try to make interesting imagery that is thought provoking and real.

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Thanks for looking and have a beautiful day ❤

Freedom Through Art

 

Bovine 1I believe that art is delivering more of the freedoms I’ve always searched for, but it’s not been an easy task. Even though the essenece of creativity is quite simple and defined by the marks we make as artists, there is a huge and complex web of influence. If art was just the simple act of pretty pictures and ego then it would be easy, but the truth is that significant art needs significant input.

Feelin the Blues

I find it hard to quantify and reduce art to a basic premise on a conceptual level because of the infinite possibilities available to what is an ever evolving feast of creativity. Even as a single artist ones mind is expanded to the point of pain with the pure weight and diversity of analysis that creativity requires. It’s not just about an external understanding of the world you live but also the internal aspects of existence. And all this has to be achieved while as an artist you are cast into the commercial world and subjected too the crass vulgarity of the art market.

Les Demoiselles d'Selby

Yes the problems that occur in the creation of art are huge, as intent is influenced by past precedent, socialisation and expectations, not to mention the practicalities of money, credibility and demand. Life is just so busy that finding the time and space to connect with who and what you are on a basic level of human existence is almost impossible. At best you can touch upon it before being torn away by the demands of an unsympathetic society.

The intensity of realisatio 1

As an artist I feel you need to be a soul survivor as well as a soul connector even though this is not clearly tangible on a conceptual level. It’s because of this that I need to make art without the constraints and distractions of societal expectation. To exist in the moment of personal creativity without a need to conform with the complex web of history that is as meaningfull as it is meaningless in the moment. In fact art doesn’t need to react or connect with any influence, style or constraint because art can just be an expression of freedom in the moment.

In Pastel Dreams

Art can be anything and we are all artists by default of our human possibility, I can create therefore I am. But being an artist comes down to a choice, just one of the many choices we make whilst battling to find ourselves in the intimidating societal environment. And it’s because of my belief in human potential that I’ve found my own path to freedom away from the pressures of a judgmental society which I feel restricts the possibilities of our existence.

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You see life is complex on every level and inconvenient too, yet we are pressurised into simplistic solutions of convenience. The imposition of boundaries which maintain a status quo simply because it’s there. And when you analyse the circumstance of society to the core principles you see a world of objectivity and desire, a simple structure, dominated by male characteristics, which maintains hierarchy.

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Existing in this cultural legacy as an artist is further complicated by the fact that art plays a significant role as it offers objects of desire that can be fought over and bragged about in society. Art used for the vanity of the elite, art used as a status symbol, art used as a political pawn to further the ambition of states. You see in our hierarchy the rich and successful have beautiful cars, beautiful women, beautiful houses, beautiful art and beautiful everything. And we are all supposed to aspire to thes values, this objectification, to work hard and be rewarded on a material level,so that we can be led towards vacuous and unchallenging lives of compliance.

Freaky Friday 1

My life as an artist has been a challenge because I was never satisfied by aquisition, I don’t need false status and material wealth to realise my purpose. No, all I need is to feel free and unburdened so that I can touch on something which feels significant to what I feel within.

Pretty in Pink

It’s only now that I’m realising that as an artist I have no duty to anyone, but instead I have a creative responsibility to honour the sacred nature of art. Because of this my priority is to freely create by whatever method I come across, regardless of the consequences and reactions.

Have a beautiful day ❤

The Visceral Art of Exprssion

Inter-Dimensional

For the artist there are many challenges which you can choose to accept or ignore.  Challenges which delve deeply into the human phsyche on many levels, from the intellectual to the metaphysical and beyond, it’s a veritable feast of possibility and opportunity. From this feast there is never a single option, because there is choice which gives the chance to dance to your own tune.

What happens when we find what we're looking for

The way I see it, is that ultimately you are alone on this journey, because of the personal nature of artistic expression, which represents the personal nature of existence as a single entity. It’s about individuality and whilst we share much in common we are all different. Difference being the beauty and the trigger which fuels our search for self realisation, showing us the possibility of infinite configurations. So I don’t see individuality as a trivial obsession about ego or vanity but more the realisation of your own humanity through the creative process. The deeply connected and visceral process of true creativity beyond the confines of our social standing. In fact through this exploration I feel the connections to humanity and life becomes deeper and to me they feel more real and genuine.

Battle of Will

Personal discovery from the specific experience of my existence has educated and taught me that art is out there beyond my own perception yet within the grasp of the nature of my being. It’s also beyond imposed constraints, so no matter how much I tried to conform or find a place within the context of society it could never really happen with my art. It couldn’t happen because I don’t believe art can be constrained by systems and what is in fact, dogmatic imposition.

I Like Riding on my Horse

I still feel a sense of anger that I had to waste great swathes of my life to fit within a petty system, compromised by the simplistic constraints of a society which enforces finite thinking.  But waste it I did, as I tried to make my art fit within the expectations of a contrived system. And the only reason my integrity survived is because of something inside me which I don’t fully understand. A spirit so strong that I’m unable to ignore it, because when  I stray into the land of compliance the flame goes out and meaninglessness descends upon my soul.

Lost Soul

The problem was that to step out of line I needed provoking and this happened year after year untill it became unbearable to the point where I had no choice beyond saying “fuck it all, I’m doing it my way”. I just had to prove to myself that I was worthy and so when I touched upon interesting art, I realised that my contribution was as relevant as any others. I’ve always felt the systems in place for arists let me down as well as many others and through the growing hardship I endured I realised the futility of the apparatus in place for artists. In a way I felt over time that I could see through the facade  in which the mechanics of the art world were laid bare and it was no place for my art.

The Dimension Shifters

There was a stark choice in which I had to stop chasing and start to realise my own creative potential, regardless of implied societal expectation. And it was in this process of self realisation that art slowly changed before my eyes. I realised that there was no universal truth in which art could  be judged to be good, bad or even relevant. However there can be cabals of agreement and because of this there is always room for conspiratorial truth, which is how  art is actually defined. So when art is acknowledged and accepted into the canon it’s only by an agreement of proponents for the establishment. When in reality there are more possibilities which are denied and not even given a voice.

Three

What I’m alluding to is that the matrix of society is an evolving fabrication, a web which is deemed sufficient to contain our aspirations and needs. A finite structure imposed on the infinite possibilities available to the human incarnation. But it can’t hold artists because art has no boundaries which is why it makes gentle anarchists out of people like me who would like to offer a contribution, but simply can’t comply with expectations, or fit within systems.

May Peace be with you

When I lost my belief in the system I realised that art existed beyond the confines of the establishment and that success was not in fact about recognition but instead a self realisation of truth. To the point where you have to redefine the meaning of art from your own perspective by exploring your ultimate freedom. And this art of truth comes from being absorbed to the point that art is the embodiment of what could be described as your soul. Your art being you and you being your art, like an inseperable alliance.

So Good to be Alive

I don’t speak too much about the depths of my own creativity, choosing to write about it instead, because it feels like a minority approach. I just feel that the world is currently dominated by the big, brash and loud, to the point where there is no place for subtlety and difference. A world of corporate global generality pacifying the majority, leaves little space for the intimacy of individuality. The art of the human scale which we can relate to and identify with, without the shock and awe, in your face and towering above you. After all the psychology of the big and brash is one of intimidation, with the know your place gestures that comes from the top of the hierarchy, woven seamlessly into the fabric of cultural ideology.

Sometimes it's complicated

Sometimes I feel like I live in a world in which true art feels like it’s dying a slow death at the mercy of those who dictate our direction and objectify all before them. With all the platitudes and positive talking everything up, like a huge serving of disingenuous fodder upon which we gorge ourselves. A world without candid truth in which we are overloaded with imagery and stuff to the point of being compromised. In your face, in your face through the screens which have penetrated our inner sanctuaries and agitated our souls.

The Water Hole

Art is not easy and reflects the thought process, so in order to produce profound visceral expressions, there must be a deep level of contemplative thinking. Time spent outwith the confines of productivity and this is so hard in this day and age. It’s hard because it can take years to evolve your thinking and understanding, something which is seldom understood in our agitated society.

Trapped

I love writing this blog and expressing my thoughts, it’s become like a barometer measuring how freely I can express myself, it also relates to my art in a very powerful way (for me). So between my drawing writing and sculpture I’m able to move forward as an artist and evolve to a point that I once only dreamed about. I think our freedom is so important and in understanding ourselves there are so many answers to todays concerns.

Thanks for looking ❤

 

Confessions of an Arty Fucker

 

Over Easy

 

And Away

 

From my angle

 

Moving On

 

The Elegance of Adversity

 

The Mystery

 

The Way it Is

Well art is an open book of private confession 🙂

The Artful Journey

The extraordinary act of existing without boundaries

From the age of sixteen I’ve always enjoyed making art and I believe this is to do with the way creative gestures not only build esteem but also pave the way to gentle awakenings and greater levels of consciousness. I believe it’s a fundamental human process and offers the chance for a deep connection beyond the distractions of society. Something pure in which there is an infinite possibilty reflecting the truth of our human condition. In one sense art is not about age or time or even the specifics of place because it holds the key to accessing something far more fundamental. The fundamental notion of being in that existence is in the moment and a condition or state in itself which doesn’t need embelishing with distraction. I guess you could use a Christmas tree as an analogy, a beautiful tree full of wonder that we chop down and kill before bringing it into our house. If that wasn’t enough then we cover it with hideous decorations, plastic balls and tinsel in a display of vulgarity to mask the natural beauty of wonder.

Far Out

So for me art is fundamental, it grounds me into my own footprint, reminding me of my human frailty on a daily basis.  No matter what my creative achievements are the feelings of inadequacy and insecurity taunt me constantly and I only find salvation in my creativity. This deep agitation I feel is both a blessing and a curse because it drives me from extremes of discomfort, to elation from creative achievement. It’s hard to explain but I feel a sense of satisfaction when I realise the invention of an idea and yet within moments I feel bereft of ability and wonder if I’ll ever be able to find or create another. Rather like living on an edge where everything is tenuous, the past is irrelevant and the future hinges on the moment. And the only way I can maintain a sense of esteem is through creative invention, to surprise myself and renew belief. And that is the reward, to be pushed through desperation into acts of creativity that are beyond your wildest dreams, to see things that you never got anywhere near to contemplating. And the crazy thing is that it’s only really relative to your own existence, because externally it’s subject to the subjectivity of opinion, it can never actually be good or bad in a definitive way, so it merely exists. What to me is so important and defining, is pretty meaningless beyond my grasp, a reality which has been one of my most difficult life lessons.

The need to break free

I now even believe that comfort leads to complacency which is why as an artist it helps to endure adversity, because zones of discomfort require actions to resolve in the search to find inner peace. And whilst we may look for inner peace, finding it is not the answer, because a sea of tranquility is too restful. So you chase stormy seas and look for adventure to stoke the fire and ignite the passion for life. You do this so that you have something to say and a reason for saying it, a point to prove and a desperation to get it across. A desperate search for truth and meaning so that life feels validated through actions, with the exploration of the unknown.  This life without complacency may seem counterintuitive but it’s the melting pot from which creativity is forged. Without this torment art loses it’s edge  and sense of danger (for me) as it moves towards celebrating the beauty of a wonderful life, this idyll of comfort. I don’t want chocolate box art, no I want art to slap me in the face and wake me up, stirring something up deep within.

A most curious case

I believe that the struggles an artist must endure when they follow an ideological path are immense and have a deep impact on the psyche. And I would say this is a timeless and frequent occurence as society tries to force creative freedom into a quantifiable format. In my own case, this societal struggle has led to a state of mind in which the only true satisfaction comes from my artistic gestures. A state in which I have no ambition beyond the purity of art,  a state of truth in which the realisation of existence prospers without vain distraction. Though there are problems with this approach because it becomes quite insular and removed from the broader context of society and it does this because you deal with the intimacy of your own existence. An existence which must have a shared cosmic commonality even though there are mundane pressures distracting us into the specificity of societal requirements.

Interaction

One of the great things about art is the rewards from creativity, it can become like an addiction because it feels real and undiluted, a truth from within and it’s personal. So when your society rejects your work and uses it as an excuse to judge and control you, there becomes a realisation. And through that realisation there is a stark choice, integrity or compromise, what is your price or do you even have one. You see society really is quite simple when you remove all the detail, because it’s based on simplistic concepts to control and the patterns of behaviour not only repeat but also become endemic to our modus operandi.To that extent we are all blind to so much of our potential, which is why as an artist there is a constant battle to see beyond the obvious. To open up the mind and travel through a greater breadth of possibilities with a broader level of perception.

Colourful Reflections

 

I believe our states of mind evolve through time and life experience, with windows of opportunity or insight, allowing us to make both informed and intuitive decisions. And whilst the psychology may be simple the details are confused by the layers of life experience and influence. To this degree I accept the contribution of fate but also aknowledge both the conscious and subconscious decision making process. But it’s my passionate pursuit of art which has taught me the most. Taught me that my understanding of life is a best a moveable feast of assumed knowledge, to the point where my reality can only be of the moment. All of which prepared me for a life of adversity in which I can take nothing for granted. To this extent my insecurity and doubts are just a true reflection of the mortal frailty we all share. Which is why in order for me to feel relevant to myself I must constantly make defining creative gestures, because without them my identity is compromised.

Eyes without a face

If I were to write a manifesto, an artists statement or even a biography it would be specific to the moment unless it were a contrivance. Because I know that if I wrote a manifesto today and then wrote another the following day it would be different and that is because our lives are in a state of flux. We are not always the same or constant and tied to a moment in time, or a set of beliefs, yet society expects this from us. I may believe in something today and not tomorrow  because that’s the way it is.  And I know from my own experience as an artist who makes choices that there is never one solution or one formula as I proved to myself with a thousand or so equestrian drawings that are all different, although they do relate to each other. The  point I’m making is about the possibilities of freedom which art offers, without having the need to compartmentalise, label, conform or become entrenched in specificity. To engage with life from a broad perspective so that you can start to see without impartiality and become free from the rigidity of expectation.

I don't know what to make of this life

Art can offer freedom but not within the constraints of a grasping art world which looks to define the moveable feast. And to this extent I’ve grown to appreciate art as a transitory gesture, a celebration of ephemerality which we can never hold or control. The elusive nature of art reflecting the elusive nature of the human spirit, which is why art is of fundametal importance to humanity. Because it is held up like a mirror through which we can see deeply into ourselves, although not all art does this.

If I were a landscape

Existence is such a crazy actuality and I try very much to maintain a balanced perspective on my life, 🙂 in that, as much as everything matters, it also doesn’t matter. And so I choose to accept the challenge of my circumstance and embrace what I feel is the priority of my existence. Even though this has landed me in a state of desperation to achieve something in my art which is way beyond my own grasp. To ignore my technical imperfections and limitations, so that I may invent and innovate in my art without the obvious boundaries. In a practical sense this means I have to learn to draw what I’m incapable of drawing so that I can realise an idea (or a concept as we like to call it now). And to do this I have to switch off my conscious mind at times and so I can free myself from those inhibiting limitations. A process which is about trusting in a deeper level of human consciousness and belief. For me this is a crucial part of my process and one which held me back for many years through fear. But now I frequently work beyond what I feel is my natural ability, which is allowing my mind to see a broader range of possibility.

The Bird Man

As alway, I write in the moment as a work in progress, I make great assumptions which are often misguided and this is a fair reflection of my art and the risk of being openly expressive in a judgmental society. It’s really all about the pursuit of  a philosophical understanding of life from the fundamental perspective of being, to the compromise of our shared social context. This great dichotomy of our actuality in which there is no single truth or correct approach beyond the uncertain paths we choose

120

Thanks for looking ❤

GERDA KAZAKOU

Eine lose Sammlung zur Dokumentation meiner Werke und Gedanken

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