Like most, I’m very aware of global issues and feel obligated to help in some way. Because there is so much wrong with the world however, it’s difficult to decide where to focus my efforts. My natural response is self-preservation. Because it is no longer a case of if the system will crumble, but when. And when that time comes, or ideally long before; we need to be self-sustainable.
My method is to break it all down to our fundamental needs as humans and work out how to ensure that those needs are met in an increasingly unstable world. Having a proactive response to this then not only ensures future survival when the system starts to break down, but distances me from the system, contributing to it’s collapse. Hopefully documenting my efforts will aid and inspire others to do the same.
How is this relevant to my art practice? My art is and continues to be a creative response to my internal and external world. With age this response is becoming less transgressive and more pragmatic but still a powerful platform for change.
So, on that note….we are now warmly welcoming the start of summer. Time to put a green finger up to global production and mindless consumption by getting out in the garden
Most people have a bucket list of some description, consciously or not. The only definitive thing I had on mine was to go to the Eden Project. Adventurous I know! I think I felt it would satisfy some of my need to give meaning to my life by seeing more of the material world than just my own back garden. This is in the hope that when my current vessel gives up, I can find peace in the fact that I have made some use of my mortal time, therefore making death a little easier.
My reasoning behind this lonely entry on my rather short bucket list was that the Eden Project basically takes some of the worldly elements from beyond my back garden and puts them in one convenient place, not too far away from my current location without much expense, planning or commitment needed.
So I eventually made it to the Eden Project and imagine my surprise when the whole experience was a disappointment. It seems that if you really want to find wonder and meaning in the world, you have to go out and look for it, not expect it to be brought to you.
Despite my disappointment, I did take a few pictures of the experience and got to dip my toes back into the world of photography and digital editing. A catalyst for more creative digital exploits I hope, and definitely a lesson learned when it comes to matters of self-betterment.
I’ve been left uni over a year now and only now am I finally starting to come round to the idea of creating again. The system sucked my creative flow right out of me rather than set me free. Not that I’m not grateful for my piece of paper that tells me I’m officially a certified artist, whatever that’s supposed to be.
The problems that arose from being in an environment that pushed me to explore the boundaries between life and art, is that I was left even more confused about what is my ‘art’ and what’s just my life.
My interests naturally feed into my artwork but sometimes it’s difficult to express those interests in a way that fits into my own idealisms of what my artwork should be.
But… I’ve had a while to think about it now and my new clean living lifestyle is definitely having a positive impact on my want to create, and I’m starting to look forward to seeing how things pan out.
A sneak preview of what’s to come:
How many times do you find yourself saying “this is the new me” or “I’m turning over a new leaf”…? The reality is that you will go through this process of renewal throughout your whole life. Our lives are in a state of flux; just because you are turning another page to reveal another you, doesn’t mean that the previous you was any less new than it’s preceding ones. I used to think that every time I turned over a new leaf it would be the start of the last ‘new me’ but we grow, regenerate and change and it’s only natural that the ‘new you’ you are starting requires a different outcome from the ‘new you’ from the last chapter. A little ponder for you there. Embrace every new you and give each one the prevalence it deserves!
Usually when I blog I have troubles or unanswered questions. Externalising these is surprisingly cathartic. So, here we go….
With recent high spirits, my now stagnant mood has surprised me somewhat, which has naturally turned me into a sleuth, seeking clues as to the origins of this terrible affliction. I always from the outset look at my glorious vessel in relation to what it has consumed (diet, alcohol) and what it has or hasn’t been doing (exercise, mindfulness practise, rest and relaxation) If nothing seems too out of sorts here then I turn to the psychological and in drastic times even the metaphysical. I think I will leave the questioning of my existence to another day today though and stick to the psychological.
Interestingly, even giving myself the time to listen to myself has a positive effect. The blogger is her own therapist, and the audience a sympathetic ear.
So here’s what I think therapist Vicki would say to me today: “Life is full of ups and downs, peaks and troughs and even when life is good you cannot plateau at a naturally high state. After an extended time of feeling good it is natural for your mood to dip. You may experience lethargy, melancholy and restlessness. It’s common during these times to look forward to good things to come, but try to not spend too much time in the future. Even though this present moment is difficult it can teach you a valuable lesson. You will be more likely to return to high spirits quicker if you accept your mood for what it is and embrace it where possible. Low moods provide a contrast from which high spirits can be measure against. Be thankful for your low moods because they make those good moods great.”
See, I’m feeling better already!
It’s been a while since I pondered Jungian theory, or indeed anything psychoanalytical. The need to dissect my psyche has diminished somewhat with the birth of more settled times. However, today I have found myself pondering carelessly over my self-development, particularly the changes within me that have come about with age, or god forbid even wisdom. I was reminded of the revelation I had when I discovered the Jungian theory of the archetype, in particular the shadow, which supposedly hides within the depths of us all. I could finally name that dark energy that I have carried with me since I left the innocence of childhood; the rebel and the risk taker that was intent on following the path to self-destruction; with no stop button might I add.
I have a lot to thank for my shadow though. It is a part of me after all. In all its chaotic splendour it has made me take the kind of risks that has made me the person I am today; all the mistakes and all the journeys. The shadow is most evident in teenage rebellion and the choices I made during those times have shaped my friend groups, my passions and my callings. It has fuelled my transgressive artwork, surfaced the fears that I have to face and has damn well partied hard with me too!
Today’s revelation however is a freeing one. I have realised how detached I am from my shadow, that dark side of my psyche. Yes I do still have fleeting moments of the want for rebellion, whether it’s to get another piercing, make an anarchic statement about the state of society or drink my own bodyweight in rum. But that’s all those moments are; fleeting.
My shadow will always be with me, its need for individuality is intrinsically engrained. But I’m finding it so much easier to listen to what it says and make calculated decisions whether to listen.
What do you do next when you completely deconstruct your creative ethos to nothingness? My focus changes frequently but this is usually because it has been superseded by a new interest. Now I’ve nothing but an empty void where there was once a cause.
My quandary comes from the realisation that activism creates conflict. It creates two sides existing in binary opposition to each other and this is the kind of separation that I have been campaigning against. Art Activism (or Action Art) wasn’t resonating with me anymore and now I understand why. I want to exist within a synchronised, harmonious environment not one where forces work against each other. It seems however that I am entering dangerous territory where everything is obscured by an idealistic, nauseating purple haze and smells of patchouli oil.
Without wanting to being a hippy about it, I am starting to feel that I should leave the world of angry, transgressive art behind and shift my focus to the promotion of oneness and synchronicity. And it will make for a refreshing change I’m sure.