I’ve been struggling to work out what to write in this post for a few weeks now. My problem stems, I think, from a little book titled ‘Marketing for Small Businesses’. Sounds innocent enough, doesn’t it? But the thing that the book has taught me is that a blog post ought, primarily, to be useful to its readers. Problem is… I’m not sure that I have anything useful to say. I can tell you about the time I came downstairs to find that my cats had eaten all the butterflies from one of my art works, or I can describe to you the smell of a studio full of old butterflies, rusty watch parts and dried flowers. But there’s a niche audience that’s going to find any of that information useful.
One thing that being an artist has taught me, however, is that it’s not always necessary to go by the rules and conform. So I’ve decided to apply the principles of the art world to this blog, and create something completely without use – but hopefully not without value. I’m going to refer back to my art school days, when I was taught that it’s essential to have an artist’s statement. The problem I always found in writing statements is that it always seemed to miss something. Sure, I can write about my interests and methods and inspiration. But the great thing about creating art is that you can describe all of the subtle, ephemeral and elusive thoughts and feelings that this kind of description fail to pin down. My solution was to write my artist statements in descriptive prose – it gave much more freedom to describe those feelings and motivations than the traditional more academic kind of statement. And this is something that I come back to frequently when I’m trying to thrash out ideas and directions. If I can’t find the visual form to express my thoughts, I’ll write – poems and short descriptive pieces – to capture an essence, and then the visual forms follow naturally. (I wonder if writers ever use images to overcome writers block in the same way?) So within this blog I’ve decided to incorporate some of this writing. Hopefully it will give you an insight into where the ideas and inspiration for my work comes from. Maybe you’ll enjoy it just in itself. Perhaps you’ll even find it useful. Who knows.
To get things started, here’s something I wrote in relation to a collaborative installation I worked on with taxidermy artist, Harriet Horton.
What is this place? This place between life and death, between night and day… A frozen narrative that flickers in and out of focus, little more than a dream; the flow of seasons paused, life’s ebb stilled.