May I encourage you by saying that the answer to who you are artistically – your voice – is inside you right now. The studies we undergo, are a long term process of refinement; and self-reflection is the furnace though which the artistic self is forged. Truth is forged!
Presenting your work to an unsuspecting public is an interesting challenge. You find that strangers arrive at your door and the responsibility of explaining your work effectively to them is all part of the process. An enthusiastic approach pays dividends and in effect the artist is learning on the job through the triple tasks of making, promoting and selling their work.
I was about to start a three-year academic commitment. In applying to be part of the Open College of the Arts 2014 cohort for Europe’s first distance part time Masters in Fine Art, I had signed up to deadlines and being a student again: a proper one (not the kind who says they are a ‘student of life’ and winks in an alarming way). I’d have an NUS card, discounts in Top Shop and more two-for-one pizzas than I could ever consume . What else would I learn? What had I to gain?
What is a comfort zone and who defines them? Well, we all do; they are defined by our lack of experience or familiarity with a subject. They can be as little as trying a new technique, to exploring an alternative research pathway, and it is the discomfort and uneasiness we feel undertaking a new task that reaffirms our zones.
Looking at American Dancer/Performer/Sculptor Artist Nick Cave it is really inspiring. He is best known for his “Soundsuits”, which are exciting wearable Textile pieces, almost sculptures that look whimsical, bright and other-wordly looking. He regularly performs in the sculptures himself, dancing either before the public or for the camera.
Saturday morning at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art was the time and place for the Open College of the Arts study visit to the Joan Eardley ‘A Sense of Place’ exhibition. With fourteen students this was a well-attended event, the participants being attracted to an exhibition that focused on drawing and painting enhanced by photographic and archival documentation of the period.