Tuesday, 10 July 2012

What has been happening since January?

It is not wholly insignificant that I have not written anything on this blog since January 30th. Of course it is partly laziness, but rather more it is a reflection of my loss of direction and decline in morale. The last few posts describe my tentative work using the copy stand to animate my charcoal drawings and experiment with the sculpted bones. It did excite me for a while, and yet, reading the blogs I already detect an uncertainty. I am clearly worried about letting my film making knowledge with its emphasis on carefully structured narrative and 'looking slick', intrude into my much less confident and certainly non-professional  art work.

I also went through a bad case of the "so what"s. It is the nature of the City Lit Fine Art Course that you are left to your own devices. The tutors do their best and I had a few good tutorials that gave me hope, but generally there is a little support to see you past the nihilism that overcomes you. And perhaps, nor should there be. If you have any aspirations to becoming an artist: it seems obvious that you need to get yourself through to a place where it does seem worthwhile.

At some point in the spring when I was feeling particularly down, I had a tutorial with Liz Ellis. She is very supportive (background as a mental health nurse!) and picked up on my interest in William Kentridge. She lent me a substantial catalogue from his big London show of five years ago. It was a hugely stimulating. Not only supporting my interest in his animation, but also some excellent material on his approach to art and making art. One particular quote stood out for me and had a significant impact on kick starting me into a more productive phase:

The pure light of inspiration, for me, is always to be treated with caution.
 Things that leap out as ‘good ideas’ are often best left at that. It is in the physical act of their coming into being, and in the form they finally achieve that they have to show their worth, and often things that start rather in the alleys and sluices of the mind, hold their own in the end.
 William Kentridge  Fortuna: Neither programme nor chance in the making of images 1994  

I had been spending far too much time on what I thought were 'good ideas': only to have them crumble under my clumsy hand. Kentridge told me to abandon that level of planning and so called creative excitement and instead get on and TRY stuff. Let its potential demonstrate itself in the doing: not in the anticipation.

Now I am two weeks away from the exhibition and about to go to the last session. I will promote my blog  at the exhibition so the next few posts will be by way of description and explanation of what I ended up doing and , perhaps more importantly, valuing  my work over the last two years.

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