Saturday, 12 July 2014

Founder's Thoughts: Arty Facts

Wishing to take a break from worldly matters I've decided to return to the arts which is rather ironic as it always concerns itself with worldly matters. The arts have always been an outlet for human thoughts and feelings. It is where we find our fears and dreams and many an insight as to how to make both happen in reality. Unlike sports, the arts has and will always be an early warning system for troubles brewing, but in common with sport it provides an outlet for the relief of tension when they are upon us. Artists, like historians seem to be the keepers of information on past events pertaining to humanity's progress more than any other group.

My own stance is that art's greatest value is in being able to provide a voice to those who would otherwise have none. Via art we can heal by sharing our troubles and fears by working through them as well as expressing our hopes and dreams to find a way of making better things happen. From dance to drama, from music to literature and from to sculpture to painting, photography, print and embroidery everyone can and should be able to express what it is to be alive.

No artwork is ever quite complete without a response to it. We prove our existence by sharing experiences both good and bad and the arts enable us to do so relatively safely compared to other forms of dialogue. We seem to have greater options of control over who we choose to share things with when being creative as well as how we do so. Outside of counselling, art is the only place we explore ourselves and the world around us at the same time.

Artists in Training

The professional training of an artist in any discipline, is a curious process. Unlike any other profession the trainee artiste is encouraged to explore everything and make as many mistakes as possible so long as they take adequate precaution against injuries or death. Some are trained technically from the outset while others are trained to be expressive so that technique becomes secondary if applied at all.

Like anything else the more we do a thing, the better we become at it which goes a long way to explain why simply being expressive can result in being technically brilliant over a long period of time. Conversely, without thinking, a technically adept artist can become extremely expressive.

It is not surprising that artworks cause controversy, much of it is designed to. The artist both consciously and subconsciously questions just about everything. Rather like Socrates most artists tend not to bother with providing answers, preferring to complete their masterpiece by allowing you the audience to decide that thereby quite rightly relinquishing all responsibility for your response. In many respects I feel art's role is meant to be awkward, fickle and contradictory for it's purpose above all is to reflect what it is to be human and in the process query our morality and logic. Hence why all art is said to mirror life. The result of your response to an artwork reveals much more about you than it does the artist to which invariably the artist will respond. In that regard it is a perpetually beautiful circular relationship if at times frustrating for both parties.

Enabled while Disabled

As yet I haven't got round to crowdfunding for my kiln which is a pity as my home is rather awash with unfired pieces now, some more understandable and readily accessible than others. I seem to have got sidetracked by more pressing matters - I can't think why.

I'm not entirely sure what exactly I had in my mind when I made this piece. All I do know is that each time I experience it my response changes because whereas it doesn't change, I am always evolving. Artists are extremely changeable. Few realise why but it is simply because thoughts and feelings are transient unless and until we feed them. Best to be careful over which we feed. As human beings we are always changing as new experiences teach us new things to alter our perspective. If this wasn't true we would still retain the same attitude and behaviour as we displayed the day we were born. Sometimes I look upon a creative effort and pat myself on the back for the skill I have used, on another day I can look on the same piece and observe how much skill was lacking to make it.

We can all feel so sure no one could mistake what we've tried to convey to others only to find we've missed out on how they relate to the world. The result can be and often is that we find ourselves completely misunderstood. Our options is to try again if it seems worthy of our time and effort but it often requires a different approach, technique or angle to connect with beings even stranger than ourselves, even among our own species.

What relevance has this to worldly things? As every true scientist and artist knows every action has an equal and opposite reaction in nature. As human beings I feel we need to be careful to avoid violent extremes.
My personal view is that we should examine everything we do by both its merits and its short-comings before choosing what to do next. We should I think take time to learn how to communicate with those we wish to open dialogues with as a first step; more so from those who are never given much in the way of opportunities to express themselves at all. I think we could learn the most from them but then as an artist with scientific leanings I'm rather partial to exploring the unknown.

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