Monday, 30 December 2013

when art practice = spiritual practice

My computer desktop, e-mail inbox and studio have never been emptier. Since submitting my thesis, having the exhibition and doing my artist's talk there is nothing driving me. I don't start back at my 'job' (paid work) for another couple of weeks so I've been telling myself to relax, do nothing, have a rest. Truth is I have little motivation or energy anyway. 

I have been throwing myself in the ocean to surf each morning and lying around watching old movies in the afternoon. Occasionally I wander aimlessly in my now sparsely furnished studio after reorganising it when the big paintings were loaded on the truck for Perth. I still don't know what I am going to do with them when they come back - I like my new spacious studio the way it is.

It's all very well taking a break from 'work', except for me my 'art practice' is also my 'spiritual practice'. It has been this way for a very long time - no wonder I am feeling a little bereft.

There are things I discovered along the way that I want to explore now that I am free to do so, so I don't need to reinvent myself - the process is ongoing. Throughout my study I never lost sight of the reasons I make images in the first place. However, as part of this re-evaluation, I do feel the need to go back to the core of what my art is about and why I do it. The very significant insights I have had into the role of images in human consciousness will no doubt influence what I do next, and it is this I want to pursue. 

The study and research will continue - it is what I do, it is why I am here on the planet. I am on a mission and that won't change until I have reached a point of wisdom where I don't feel the need to pursue anything. Only then will I be able to truly rest.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

exhibition images


If anyone is interested I have just put all of the images exhibited for my PhD at John Curtin Gallery in November 2013 on my website. I actuallly did some work in the studio yesterday and have been indulging myself in some digital drawing.

This is a screen shot of a work in progress - my digital drawing (on right) from the reference photograph on the left (courtesy of G. Robertson, Antarctica Division) It might be in the PIAF exhibition in Albany in 2014, but I haven't settled on an idea yet.

I am just loving the digital drawing.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

a hard act to follow


I was prompted to post this because of Sarah Toa's latest offeringIn fact I could have written it, from a slightly different perspective of course - but I have the same shit going on in my head: 'Maybe this is it. Maybe I have pulled off one good....(book) body of work....and this is it'. I think I know just how Sarah is feeling.

It's been a dizzying few weeks: the exhibition opening at JCG 3 weeks ago and all the wonderful feedback; back up to Perth last weekend for my artist's talk. It's been difficult to debrief. Now I need to wrap everything up - retrieve the work from the gallery, finish off the year. I am in a strange nothing sort of space, which, after 7 years of intense study and hard work, is inevitable. I like my down time - I am looking forward to having a break and going surfing a lot. I am also getting mixed up in some new projects for next year and interested in returning to a more public life after hiding out for such a long time. Everything is feeling rather strange. 

Last Sunday after the talk I took one last, long look at the exhibition and said out loud: 'I'll never top this'. I think the gallery director may have heard me.

People around me are asking: What's next? And I just give them a blank confused look. I have some ideas, but will need some space to let things settle.

To top it all off I still haven't heard from the examiners, so this 'success' could be an illusion.

I have to remind myself that the journey doesn't end here. It will be a little different but life goes on. I am in the business of evolving and I need to find my centre again. I will start feeling more like myself when I get back to my own art practice and further (private) study. And that is where I will start the climb up the next mountain.

image: Voidone of the works in the exhibition. Digital animation over photograph of The Gap at dusk.