Saturday, February 18, 2012


Vivi-Mari Carpelan: "X- Surviving in the World of the Fitter", 2011/2012)

Notice the changes? I decided - with a little help from Martin - that the figure was too domineering  and that I was going to take a chance with it and change it. I have also had so much anxiety about my art during the past three days that I have had to concede that large pictures like this just don't work for me. It's too hard for me physically, but it's also a process so long that I find it extremely hard to keep it all together. It's easy to feel stuck, to loose a sense of flow. Collaging by hand is difficult already as it is, because once you stick something down, it's very hard to change it. I will have to leave this one now but I feel that having spent so much time on it - two or three months all in all - it's very important to me. In fact, it's too important. I can't just discard it with any ease, and it weighs me down. I have felt like I'm cracking up, I have felt that I can't deal with being an artist. If I am to continue doing art, I have to re-discover some joy in the process, and that basically means it has to be much less effort and much less serious in terms of the energy I have spent on it. I also have to ask myself if it's that important to me to be considered a "contemporary artist" by people who have a very narrow definition of it. One of the crimes seems to be to express yourself  through your art work rather than comment on social injustice or attitudes, as this is the way many define "contemporary art". Perhaps I'm wrong but it seems to me that as soon as you speak of your subjective experiences, you're out of the game. From my point of view, however, you cannot be truly empathic and offer relevant social commentary unless you start with your own feelings. I actually try to do both.

Some events triggered very deep feelings in me regarding rejection and the eternal attempts to try and be strong within myself no matter what other people think - apparently I can only suppress my frustration for so long, and at some point the feelings need dealing with. Many small "hurts" accumulate and become an overwhelming avalanche by the end of the day...

By the way, Martin also feels that there is greater flow in his work now that he's not dwelling on oil paintings for months on end. I think he shouldn't abandon this medium but I do feel that it's very good for him to work more swiftly at this point in time, as he's able to build up a more substantial looking body of work quicker and also have a greater turn over of ideas. He's not getting any younger, and as much as I hate saying this it's a fact that the older you are when you emerge as an artist, the less likely you are to be taken seriously. Needless to say we both fight this trend but one also has to remain realistic. He has support from several people in the art world here in Wales, but being recognized is still a battle.

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