Conversations with certain people “bring me on”. By asking the right questions and not being afraid that they are difficult questions. They tell me their truth, and it encourages me to face my own.
I’ve been laughing at my “weird” works. By doing this I preempt any suggestion of weirdness from others. They have nowhere to go because I’ve already said it. I shut down any possibility of discussion . Other than by those awkward people who poke me with a stick to make it happen (thank you). I’m not yet prepared for the conversations that might ensue if I show that I take myself, and this work, seriously. Beneath the ridiculous bluster of “I’m a weirdo I am!” lies a vulnerability and a rawness I’m not yet ready to encounter in public. Two conversations with two people who know me, and my work, well, have brought me close to tears. Ok. Not just close. Over the edge. But they are both a safe place, so I’m ok. But I need to feel stronger before showing this work in a formal setting. Just in case someone astute asks the wrong/right questions. I need to prepare myself. Writing this post might form part of that preparation.
A discussion over dinner wandered all over the place, but touched on when and why we exhibit the work: do we exhibit when it is “finished”, done and dusted, safe, complete, and we feel we know everything about it? Or do we exhibit when it still feels raw and a little precarious, in the hope that exhibiting it will help us learn more from those who view it?
So… In forcing myself to encounter these drawings properly, by pinning them up to view, I look at materials, methods, meaning. It’s like REALLY looking at yourself in the mirror and accepting what you see. (No I can’t do that either.)
I don’t think I have REALLY looked at these drawings. I don’t think I have accepted fully what they are about. They scare me a little…. They are NOT weird to me you see? They’re not. They are a true thing. They are a true expression of what my brain is trying to process. To be honest the last few months have been a bit shit. I’m still coming to terms. I’m still trying to find my equilibrium here.
The methodology and the process of my drawings have rules. I extrapolate those rules from the patterns that emerge. I pursue them until they bore me, and then they mutate until I have a new rule. Materials, composition, technique, the colour palette all have a place within this rule-making.
Meaning then? Digging deeper, but also simplifying. Drawing I find is a purer, more straightforward way of working. It is more immediately connected – brain to paper… No filter…. No distraction…
Abstraction is attractive. Liberating.
I have lived a life filled with symbolism. The Catholic Church, Renaissance art history studies, and the occasional dip into semiotics. I see symbols and infer meaning all over the place. My brain seeks it out.
Abstraction could be my saviour then?
Abstraction is my secret confessional?
I can’t help myself.
Abstraction is a shouted whisper.