“It is indeed my life that I am staking here, a life that tastes of warm stone, that is full of the sighs of the sea and the rising song of the crickets”
Albert Camus ‘Nuptials at Tipasa’
My relationship with artistic endeavours is one of struggle and conflict. Nothing can seem to match my frustration that comes from my engagement with critical fine art. This dissatisfaction is what drives me to continue to attempt to make the abstract into something concrete; elevate my conceptual ideas into something that can be manifested into a visual translation.
Over the last four years I have witnessed significant changes within my own ideas about what it is to be an artist and how I have grown with this expanding understanding. I am drawn to investigations into what it is to be human and ways in which we can think about the world. Philosophy has been a dominant theme throughout these last years and is increasingly offering me a certain salvation from my questions and fears about my own existence.
Still, even in my second year, uncertainty lays central to everything that I do. This uncertainty fluctuates between something that fills me with anxiety, to being the catalyst for discovery. Increasingly I am able to approach my own ideas as an artist with a greater degree of experimentation and willingness to venture into the unknown. I have learnt that being over cautious, in concern with your practice, stifles creativity and often suffocates newly forming concepts. Thinking back and flicking through old notebooks I have undoubtedly cast aside many ideas due to my own fears of failure. As I continue on this journey I am learning to embrace failure, which I now see as an integral aspect of what it is to be an artist. Artists dare to fail and realise through error and experiment a challenging picture of history and mankind.
My newly formed engagement in filmmaking has been the most significant change for me. For my first year show I ignored the desire to fall into my comfortable domain and use paint as my primary medium. Eyes Closed signifies the beginning of my interest in filmmaking; it ignited an interest that now takes prevalence in my practice. Our group exhibition Trace was an interesting opportunity to make work in light of the exhibition theme and to explore concepts of personal discovery that had always fascinated me. My film ‘I don’t remember him being ill, but I remember’ was a process of excavation using a simple visual metaphor for the unfolding apprehension that acts as a steady undercurrent to the story. Suffering is universal yet notably the will to survive is overwhelming strong.
This year my interest in collaborative work has been reaffirmed by my participation in our second year show. The Public House that we constructed, successfully created a space within the gallery that encouraged a relaxed exchange of discourse and became a lively hub that people actively chose to hang out in. The main benefit of working collectively for me is how many interesting debates are sparked when people disagree over creative decisions .
Reading has been a vital source of inspiration, especially in times of creative drought. I read One hundred Years of Solitude while travelling through Eastern Europe the year before I started my degree. It opened my eyes to the poetic power of language and how it can map out the subtlety of life; its melancholic beauty and the ebb and flow of consciousness.
How do I relate my practice to the world that we live in and further more is it necessary to do so? I am want to become envolved in a serious engagement with the fundamental issues that we are faced with. I do not want to be detached from what unfolds and manifests in our time. Travel is very important to me and although saving up in order to go abroad is painful and tedious, the benefits I reap from it are invaluable.