Friday, March 13, 2009

relationship and interconnectedness

Hi Susan,

Its interesting to hear from curators and teachers because you have to make sense of what artists do. For myself, as an artist, I would never start with a label, like 'shall I make a hybrid work?'. For me the world is about relationship and so you explore connections. Always you start with what is here now and you come towards this with who you are now with all your history, culture and biases. You are the product of own indoctrination, so you always see the world through that veil. I guess it's important to see that. Nobody and no thing is an isolated entity, we are all bits of stuff related to other stuff, and half the time we don't see the connections. But it is how stuff is interrelated which is interesting, its interesting because we mostly miss it all, but when we see it and recognise it then it is worth drawing out in a work. That is a kind of marvel, really.

So the way I work is very instinctive, I often start with what I can only describe as a feeling in the pit of my stomach. That is me feeling instantly connected to something. Then you work out how you will go about doing something about this. I.e. method, approach, material, form etc. It is all quite non verbal. Sometimes there is the germ of an idea, but it is missing a bit, so you may put it aside and wait awhile. At some point that last piece of the jigsaw will drop into place; you see something or read something. Maybe its an idea about the material to use, or the way to work. Whatever, it completes a circle whereby everything is related and whole. Then you can make the work.

Later that piece fits into the unfolding story of your work and you can begin to view it objectively, even give it a label, see that it relates to and adds to a particular area of your work. Putting things into categories is how we try to make sense of the world and how artists can objectively relate one work to another and see how what they are doing might relate to others in the field. these are all words and thoughts after the event. The first step is a instinctive connection with no labels. Its like a kind of floating into something, but at the same time very tense and excited.

That's how it is with me anyway.


'Howling at the Universe' a homage to Kurt Schwitters - spore print, screen printed in porridge on black paper.

'Shattered Peace, Broken promises' - video stills from a film of the smoke from a sage bundle, effected by the sound of an explosion.

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