Friday 25 March 2011

Art and Competition,'Trophy'- To be hung on the Wall, to be viewed by all... Siouxsie And The Banshees, Trophy ( Live 17th July 1981)

This picture gave me inspiration for the next piece...

Some people choose to compete in games, some people choose to play games.

To compete involves risk, a hierarchy of success, we are placed in an order, people may laugh when we fall, which we often do, none of us are above the odd grazed knee from time to time.

To play means we faff, doddle, doodle, laugh, create, spin a tale, weave a story, let's pretend...

Artistic pursuits involve both concepts. Our creativity is our submission to a critic's eye. Our 'play' is our product with which we 'compete'. Are we aware we're in competition? Most likely. Do we want to be in competition? Probably not, for fears of grazes, few of us are blessed with a robust ego. But imagine if just once, it was us holding the trophy...

It seems to be human nature to place things in order and categorize. Art is obviously subjective, but everything needs to be given a value, whether that be in monetary terms or integrity and provenance. It's Darwinism for the culture vultures. The weaker are bred out and the part-time tesco job becomes full time.

Can we refuse to compete? Or are we automatically entered just by playing?
Do you strive for the trophy or are you happy to play the game?
Victory or 'also ran'?

Monday 7 March 2011

Art Is Science- Opposites Attract, The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, City Foxes, Sigmar Polke...

So. I spent the summer in London. And I just couldn't make. I stopped wanting to create and instead I wanted to live, be out there. An extrovert... so I complied. Topped up my travel card, joined the queues, followed the line, moved down the platform and further down the carriage, visited galleries, adhered to 'critic's shoice', caught some shows I 'simply couldn't miss'. But somehow the sensory saturation left me exhausted. I had nothing to give. And I simply didn't care anymore.

Now I'm back on the farm and it's pretty isolated here. Days replace days. Things replace things. Although my world has become smaller, it is intimidatingly grander. There's no escape from nothingness. Living rurally, I often experience inner conflicts between feelings of peace, revelling at the majesty of nature and conversely, feeling overwhelmed and isolated by the vast expanse of bleak emptiness encompassing me. This emptiness needs to be filled.

I often think about the city fox.  The city fox has always been a creature I admired, flicking the finger at urbanisation. Country fox numbers have been controlled. But the city fox has no predators. We're on her patch. I envy her. She came from the country and thrived in the city, adapted. I see little difference in her opportunistic scavenging, bin raids, slinking sneakily throught the shadows, to our juggling office politics, 'networking', throwing up on the night bus, ascending to the dizzy heights of a grim tower block in a piss stenched lift.
The point is this. As the town mouse and the country mouse discovered, opposites are great. I can't work in the city, I can work out of it. But I'm not sure I could work without the city. I need it to be the spark to my fuel, and conversely, the water to my flame. I have the chemicals but I need a reactor.  Chemistry, biology, sex...
Art is science.
Exciting things happen in the space where opposites meet. My work is about conflict, contrasts and subversion, exploring conflicts of opposites- town and country, masculine and feminine energies, innocent themes subverted by dark, sinister undertones.

I'm under no impression that I have been inspired by a divine source, an artist is no more gifted than a non artist. Sigmar Polke's ''Higher Beings Command'' and ''Moderne Kunst'' (1968) spring to mind, the ridiculing of 1960's art critic obsession with abstract expressionistic urges ordained by a divine source. We have merely developed a visual art is...
a science? A craft? A skill?
to be cont...

Thursday 3 March 2011

Inspiring mixed media artist- Gregory Euclide.

Just stumbled accross this guy on It's so refreshing to find people approaching landscapes and nature in an innovative way. The surface carrier is twisted and torn, creating entirely new perspective lines and aesthetic structure, and you rarely see mixed media done so bravely, yet elegantly. The literal 'destruction' (through ripping and twisting of picture) of nature and beauty creating a thing of beauty in itself, so cleverly crafted, almost a sculpture. These are my gut reactions to his work. I'll have to read up on him

Wednesday 2 March 2011

Art supply shopping. It may not look like much. Just stacks of fabric. But this is 1/16 of the shop's contents and I literally could spend the night here. It is my heaven, and the old ladies that run it, my attending angels. I probably need to get out more.

First post jitters...

This is the first work and starting point for a series of works contributing to the 'Malice In Wonderland' Exhibition in the West Wing of Sewerby Hall.