Friday, March 11, 2011
The things I thought I heard...
I promised you new work and I really try to keep my promises, but I can't offer you a finished piece or even a work in progress. Perhaps you will accept a concept instead?
This week has been rough, with a lot of old ideas resurfacing about myself and how I fit (or don't) into this world. A lot of self doubt kept me preoccupied, corroding my confidence. Old habits and defense mechanisms were deployed to remedy these negative feelings with limited success.
Art has always helped bolster my confidence and has given me a place to belong when I felt that I didn't belong anywhere else. So, I thought perhaps it was indeed time to explore some of these feelings in my art. I don't often use my art in this manner. My usual goal is to create work that people, including myself can escape into rather than using my work to dwell on a certain emotion or issue. I say my usual goal, I do understand that my work is emotional in nature whether through use of colors, text, or titles. However, my work usually only hints at what I am trying to explore. My work is often dreamy and perhaps intentionally vague not only so that the audience can bring themselves into the work more easily but also as a protective mechanism for myself. I hold back from this more personal and clearly emotionally charged art because I fear this type of work is often heavy handed, juvenile, and perhaps even a bit selfish or self absorbed. At the same time, art is about expression and freedom and is a good place to challenge these perceptions.
The concept that came to me this week was in the form of a simple sentence, "The things I thought I heard that helped make me..." The idea being that people in our lives say things to us all the time but what we hear and internalize can be completely different than what was actually said, yet we take and carry this perception of their words with us forever. Also the element of self doubt is expressed in this statement with the word "thought." We can not be sure, did they say that and mean this? Did they mean this and say that? Did our emotions in the moment color an innocuous word and turn it into a poison that will now be our undoing? Imagine all these instances adding up over a life time, the things that children think they hear, but can't be sure of, changing them forever. This repeats throughout our life, the things we think we hear create us and make us who we are today. These half truths, these confused words give us our identities, our language, our issues and change the way we relate in the world and to each other.
So, these are the ideas that have dominated my art brain this week, I have begun exploring it with photography but I hope to move through the concept with paintings and drawings as well. We will see, I have no idea if this is just a passing concept that will burn out quickly or if it has room to grow and be explored into a new series. I will have to see how I feel once I get into it.
Until next week, keep fighting...