Sunday, 28 July 2013

Creative direction?....good question!

I've got a bit of time before Staithes festival to review my working practice at the moment and maybe hone in on one direction....

As much as I love the effects I get from laser cut pebble marks, I feel that I have to rely too much on other people to get the initial designs cut. (they are always very patient and work is filed in their system under titles such as April pebbles, more pebbles, more bloomin' pebbles etc!)...ok, I'd like a laser cutter and a printer....& lots of other things too!....but, the question is how do I carry on making my art and the designs work when I have to worry about costs and impeding on other peoples time before I can even start to mess around and experiment, I feel like I'm working in reverse!

One thing that I was drawn to with the laser cutter was the delicate, intricate nature I could retain from the marks I have taken from the pebbles. I can't get the effects by hand, I've tried and they look rubbish. I also liked the way, by using thicker material I generate shadows and by introducing pins I can layer and get a greater degree of body, greater depth....

So why am I struggling to establish a satisfying creative direction?....I honestly don't know....I make excuses and flounder around. I really want to settle into a style of art that I am recognised for maybe?....or that I'm comfortable with?....but why? it necessary and if so to who? what is it I actually want....what?... thats it I don't know what I want anymore!....I have a fab studio, supportive family and time, so why oh why is "It" not happening!?...

I look at artists like Jaume Plensa and Cornelia Parker, their work deals with and involves a variety of elements such as the everyday and shadows and I love it but they're often huge! I need to think small scale and realistic. Times are hard not just for the struggling artist but also for the public who I want to appeal too.

Cornelia Parker’s Neither From Nor Toward

"Cornelia Parker’s Neither From Nor Toward.  The brick pieces are from a row of houses that fell off the Cliffs of Dover and were found by the artist on a remote shoreline. Precision seems to contradict the irregular weathered bricks now shaped not by human hand, but by long-term exposure to crashing waves.
One step back from the piece, and you can see that the precision of the work’s construction has a hidden purpose. That being to recreate the shape of a house, assumingly, one that fell from the Cliffs of Dover all those years ago.  It is impossible however to determine if Cornelia Parker intended the silhouette of the house which the brick pieces unite to form to be seen in mid-fall, or mid-reconstruction"
Joseph Cornell
On a smaller scale I admire  Joseph Cornell's work....the clever and enticing way he draws the audience in often conjouring up ideas that they are souvenirs of an imaginary voyage, cleverly placed fragments that hint and suggest.... I remember reading somewhere that he was ..."a virtuoso of fragments, a maestro of absences" (possibly from Joseph Cornell edited by Kynaston McShine) I was also told at uni that "boxes had been done to death!" but the appeal is still there to do an entire exhibition of boxes...

I take myself back to University and hear my lecturers banging on about and "snearing" the word craft like its a swear word and find myself suddenly drenched in cold sweat! I've got nothing against craft, my work harks to strong traditions, memories and I happily use craft in my work....but .....thats it theres a but!....does that mean I'm no longer a fine artist per se?....I'm feeling very frustrated and also a bit of a failure too. Writers get blocks as do artists I know, I could draw on past experiences to help lift me out of this "moment" but as yet, nothing is forthcoming!

Like Cornell and Parker and no doubt many other artists my "findings" are an important part of my art and using them, no matter what medium, my work gradually and spontaneously unfolds. Maybe I have too many ideas I want to try, as a mixed media artist  I'm always experimenting with new materials, so....possibly I need to stop looking for something new and use and accept what I have and master one thing at a time? or maybe just relax and enjoy whatever I feel the urge to make...

work in progress!

...As John Ruskin said "Fine art is that in which the hand, the head and the heart of man go together", the summer is the perfect time to get out and seek inspiration, recharge and maybe re-think...however, any help, tips, advice etc would be very much appreciated. In the big wide world of life, artists often work in isolation, maybe I'm missing social contact with fellow artists and need to get out more!

Thanks for reading my ramblings and heres hoping to posting a more positive and uplifting blog in the near future....bye for now

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