Art and Ambition
Here is a poem I wrote about the antagonism between two conflicting desires:
Fuelled by the angst of competition
Takes the bend too fast.
Free at last
To be no one
I wrote this poem to express not a death wish but the perpetual dilemma of wanting to participate in society but also wanting simple anonymity, to be free to just make my work, fiddling around with stuff in my studio.
Writing a blog is a way of making something out of this dilemma
To view my exhibition M522HBD, please click here.
A piece that I am working on at the moment brings together imagery and sculptural forms about our practical earthy experiences in daily life that get in the way of our airborne dreams and aspirations. The sculpture is well and truly grounded on the horizontal plane with feet of clay but the legs support a fragile halo of sun and stars.
This sculpture is a bit of a breakthrough for me as I have managed to combine sculpture with painting in a harmonious whole. At the moment the 2D image on the base is done in crayon on card, but I am about to translate it into paint. The feet of clay are actually concrete lined with green felt. The brown legs are stuffed felt with a border of razor shells. I have embroidered traffic, jackdaws and squirrels onto the brown disc, reflecting the roadworks below, but underneath this disc are appliqued flowers reflecting the light from the sun opposite it.
I am enjoying reading: The Art of Living: aesthetics of the ordinary in World Spiritual Traditions by Crispin Sartwell. He is an American philosopher who admires John Dewey’s theories about art as laid out in his book Art as Experience (1934).
His theory attempts to bridge the gap between art and ordinary life. For him art is human experience of a certain sort: rhythmical, coherent and consummatory. Works of art are the end products of such experiences. These experiences happen by the person being devoted to the process of making, in short, to life. This links in with Buddhist ideas about the importance of living in the present.
I would like to quote Crispin Sartwell from his chapter Zen and the Art of Living because it sums up what I am trying to do with my art.
“People often seek peace and enlightenment by intense spiritual discipline, or travelling to exotic places, or in fevers of penitence. The odd thing is that enlightenment is found exactly where we already are; enlightenment consists in opening up to and affirming the situation we are already in. All the shit that I have to do every day may seem to me to be the barrier to my peace; in truth, the things I do every day constitute the only place in which I could possibly find my peace. And if I am going to open myself to what I already have and what I already am and what I already do, if I am going to live artfully, then I had better start with the real. Things I do every day, things like washing the dishes. If I defer my peace until I meet my goal, I will find no peace when I get there.”
In my sculpture I depict traffic jams rather than washing up!
I hope you enjoyed reading my first Blog.