The Speed of Colour
oil on board, 3ft x 2ft
I'm in that weird space between the body of work having been finished and the exhibition date. Last Monday evening I crashed and burned. I was exhausted. I can't find the words to tell you how bone tired, ass-dragging knackered I felt. My brain ground to a complete halt. It got to the point where I could only sit on the sofa and drool. Last week, I rested. I'm still not at 75%, but I've got enough juice in the tank to start encouraging my ducks to line up. This week, I don't have high expectations for myself and I'm okay with that. That's what next week is for (fingers crossed).
My To Do List, pre-exhibition spans two pages and is frankly scaring me to death. Almost as much as the exhibition itself, and that's saying something. Rather than lie on the floor quaking (as I really would like to do), I've broken down all of the tasks into chunks and I'm going to trust that everything will get done and to a good enough standard. Yes, I would like everything to be perfect. Unfortunately, 'perfect' is not within my abilities. 'Good enough' will have to do.
After I finish this post, I will start writing both the exhibition statement and my artist's statement. Given I've been working on this project for two years, you'd think I'd be all over this like white on rice. Yeah, no.
Rowan asked me last night why am I doing this? What is it I hope to achieve? I stuttered for a long time.
Why am I doing this? It's obvious, isn't it?
Actually, no it isn't.
I'm an artist, because I do the art work. Whether I'm a good, bad or indifferent artist is another question I am not qualified to answer. I'm too close to this body of work to judge it's success or failure or quality.
I do this for the same reason I blog. It's a my way of communicating, I am reaching out beyond my small sphere to offer a glimpse into my reality. I hope to connect with other people who are willing to have a conversation about what comes up in my life, in my thoughts. My blog does this with words, my art does this visually.
My blog has been a vehicle in which I've explored how it's been to be Me dealing with various challenges, issues, people, situations. My art is taking things a step further. It's an invitation to have a conversation about what it is to be human and look up at the Universe. What do we see?
I believe Life is a paradox. On the one hand it is meaningless. You're born, you live, you die. There are seven billion of us on Earth currently going through this process. The only two certainties in life, often quoted, are death and taxes. If life itself is meaningless, what then? It is up to the individual to create meaning. Therefore everything then becomes full of meaning. The decision to connect, to create, to communicate becomes the starting point of a meaning-full life.
This morning, I realised the work for this exhibition is not going to be good enough; it never was going to be. With this exhibition, I stepped up and stated "this is what it's like to be human, looking up." This is the kind of subject best left to the end of an artistic career, after many, many years of practice, honing of skills, success and failure, trial and error. I've gone and jumped in at the deep end at the beginning of my artistic career. This is Big Picture stuff and who the hell am I to have an opinion about anything?
Who am I? I am an artist. As an artist my job is to start the conversation, to ask the difficult questions. I'm not here to paint pretty pictures. I'm here to highlight the difficult things about being human: the fear, the anger, the hurt, the loneliness; as well as the positive.
I want to contribute to the Big Picture.