Why this, why bother?

I remember during a tutorial at art college a while back, a ‘pure painter’ tutor uttering those rather cruel and devastating words…’why bother?’. I decided to take this as a deliberate and provocative stance to test my mettle in respect to the critical thinking of my work and process.

Yes, that I can answer. My background (be it many moons ago) is IT. I used to work in a project based IT environment, as a business analyst/consultant helping the business deliver their IT solutions. More often than not I was the middle person in-between the techies and the fast paced business professionals so as a result I was used to taking many different perspectives at once. In my work I use to think and breathe from both the aspect of the users and the developers; from the tiny bits of detail (which may have served a very specific business function) to the ‘stand-back’ overall strategic viewpoint of the very senior management in addition to the business and technical infrastructure in which the IT business application sat. I can sense your eyes glazing over…

This may sound exceedingly tedious and completely unrelated to art, but it is relevant to me. The interconnectedness of things, between that which can be achieved through the computer and the hand, the patterns apparent in hardware and software and in both the technical and physical painterly processes that I use, the way in which they sit and operate together, the standing back, multi-perspective viewpoints and the ‘diving right in’ personal interpretation and response. The structured and analytical working alongside the imagination as a dynamic and creative partnership. All of this is thrown into the fray when I make my work.In the words of Descartes ‘I think, therefore I am’ and in the words of me ‘therefore I do’.