As I settle back into life in a small semi-rural village, light years from the notion of contemporary art, I intend to examine and record, how I fare as an artist in the real world despite being penniless, unemployed and living with Mum and Dad. I am trying to stay afloat and upbeat-pursuing my career from the cultural obscurity that I tried for so long to escape.
Building on the future.
So far this week I have spent both Monday and Tuesday helping set up Associations at Kettles Yard, Cambridge.
This has been one of the best weeks since leaving college. Until now I hadn’t realised just how much I actually enjoy the knitty gritty, bare installation of exhibitions and how I had missed being surrounded by like minded people.
Tomorrow morning I face hopefully one of my last visits to the job centre. Tomorrow night I begin night shifts at tesco to save some money for Christmas.
Inbetween these ‘non-degree specific activities’ I have another day at the gallery, puffing, head scratching and lifting. I won’t get paid but it’ll be worth it.
What value does ridiculous tuition fees give to higher education?
Will the University degree become a sought, hard earned prize or a commodity of wealth?
NOT DEAD YET
It’s ridiculous. For the better part of two months I have been having a creative meltdown. A complete panic stricken block. It has always been a periodical feature in my life since focusing in on art making as my primary purpose in life. Ironically, instead of using the blog as the place to tease out these issues and anxieties, I’ve avoided it like the plague to save the world from my apocalyptic visions of my artistic career.
I am however, going to try and make a concerted effort to try and use this blog for positive gain.
A key factor in my problem with my work (I believe) is the persistence of my diminishing bank balance and inability to find employment, not just in the creative industries, but part time temping jobs which I once swore I would never do again.
It seems I ought to make the most of my situation, and in-between applications, dedicate my time to considered art making.
I have recently participated in onedotzero’s graduate workshop, cascade, which enabled me to work with some really interesting creative practitioners from a broad spectrum of disciplines. Whilst gaining mutual respect for other industries, it affirmed my sense of importance not only as an artist, but specifically a painter. I don’t believe modes of existence must necessarily be categorised, but I do advocate the recognition of established and important fields of research.
I have found the journey to where I am now, as a graduate trying to establish where to aim next an arduous if not enjoyable process. Though I am conscious of the sublime history stacked up against every contemporary practitioner, I still find my self a gibbering wreck in considering my position in this world.
I find reminding myself that despite my efforts I might leave this world choking on my breakfast cereal a comfort and a reality check.
With my mortality tucked safely under my arm, I scan through the short list of the Celeste Art Prize and the John Moores Painting Prize.
I am humbled.
I am shown that, there are some very good painters out there. I tell myself I am twenty-two, and museli permitting, still in with a chance of making some half decent work before my time is up.
I feel as though since moving home my nervous ambition to move further and higher at a frightening rate has mellowed. In contrast to everything I’d planned, I don’t need to be in London, I don’t need to do an MA right now….
I am attempting to convince myself that the spark hasn’t died;
I just want time.
Time away from the institutions to find my voice. Develop my message, and make it coherent before yelling it from the rooftops.
One issue lingers. Will I find my voice, and will it be worth yelling?
I have somewhat neglected the importance of blogging recently, but I feel as though I should make an active effort to regain that momentum.
I can allow the inspiration to re-begin the blog since being lucky enough to be part of this year’s cascade project hosted by onedotzero.
For those who haven’t heard of it just take a look at onedotzero.com.
The workshop has given me the opportunity to re-establish my practice within the context of collaboration and attempt to bring something positive to a group of creative practitioners who all excel within their own fields.
I am finding this experience, day one down-several to go, really challenging but crucially important. I think I had underestimated the comfort and quiet complacency which soon arrives after leaving University, [if you move home, out of your creative sphere] where by the sudden reduction of challenge to your work allows you, perhaps blindly, to work away-somewhat with your back turned to the outside world.
What’s also especially challenging is not merely justifying your concepts or viewpoints to a group of relative strangers, but people who perhaps have no experience of the discipline in which you are trained and vice versa.
I believe this week is going to be a huge challenge in communication, diplomacy and to some degree, a political challenge.
“This year’s onedotzero_adventuresin motion theme takes a Utopian approach. In the past mankind’s visions of the future were largely optimistic, full of bright new ideas and technology benefiting social harmony. Now however, a decade into the 21st century, we find there is a propensity for doom and gloom. onedotzero wants you use the theme of utopia to bring a sense of adventure, hope and positivity about our future world to this years cascade project and the festival”
So feel free to follow the progress of our creative process at http://isthisthegrayarea.blogspot.com
I am not posting anywhere near as often as I should be.
Last week was a good week-
I attended the Jerwood drawing prize private view and prize giving, it was a tremendous turn out, and though not awarded anything I felt privaledged just to be there.
I finished the second of my commissions since leaving college and this one went a lot more smoothly than the first. Its startling how you can psyche yourself into not wanting to do something.
On Saturday I was sent an email inviting me to a month residency at Arteles in Finland in the new year. Needless to say, I am incredibly excited and I now have some thing palpable in the near future to work toward.
The submission of work into shows, the job applications, the visits to the job centre…it all continues.