Viewing single post of blog architecture: art + place

Generating an income is always on the agenda, isn’t it? Whether you’re stacking shelves at the proverbial supermarket, teaching or administering the creative efforts of others, the standard advice is always to do something completely different so that you can keep your art focussed and undiluted.

Coming to art from the direction of architecture presents a different problem. It is a continuum, and whilst I clamber up the steep slope towards the artistic light, I need, from time to time, to slip back a bit and put a few quid in the bank to put food on the table. When I first took the plunge, leaving conventional practice behind a few years ago, I was clear that for the first year or two I would need to take on anything that would help support me, whilst I moved inexorably towards a creative placemaking practice. It’s what I’ve managed to do, on the whole, but its not been in a straight line.

My ‘proper’ artist collaborator, Pandora, continually gives me a gold standard by which I work out where I stand, but I’m aware of my vagueness. I overflow with ideas, but I’m less coherent in their creative continuity – which remains the main distinction between artist and architect. This whole area, though, gets confused too easily by the need to earn a living and needs untangling.

Detours have taken me on explorations of new areas that opened up before me – interpretation in particular – where although the ‘place’ being made has been devised for a particular purpose, it is not intended to be encountered in a univalent manner (giving it ‘richness’ – an art truism that I’m clinging onto until I find a better word). It has turned out, though, to be a somewhat tainted effort – too constrained by the need for approvals and an editorial process. Pleasing, maybe, but only, really, a creative push at the limits of design. It has brought benefits, developing a better awareness of achieving richness in space that will help with creating more engaging and ambivalent places in future works.

Better than stacking shelves, though.