Now that I have started to distill my lines
of enquiry I am beginning to rationalise these thoughts against what it is I
want to do, make and find out. At this
point (and in reference to Lecture 1 – ‘Introduction to Practice as Research’)
I am unsure as to which of these questions to address first; which should take
president and lead into the others.
I want to develop existing and learn new
making skills using a range of 3D media, because this is what I enjoy
doing. It is hard at this point to give
specific reasons as to why I enjoy doing this, beyond the simple responses of I
am good at it, or that I use these skills in my vocation, or to lead me onto an
alternative line of employment. I also
want to build confidence in what I do and make; I am historically objective and
realistic (pessimistic) of my own abilities and how my work applies to wider
contexts, professionally and creatively (more on that later). I need to gain the confidence to make my
practice work for me, and take myself seriously as a practitioner.
I also want to move beyond the experimental
stage of the creative process; my job as an Art & Design lecturer inhibits
time spent on what I make (in practice, in reflection and in continuum). My creative output is condensed into the
spare hour or so that I might have between teachings, and although I can be
easily inspired by the fast pace of contexts I am exposed to (as well as the
practical opportunities), it is hard to find longevity in these endeavors. Often the work I produce exists as one-offs,
successful or failed experiments, or merely ‘good ideas’. The next wave of creative stimulus comes along
quickly, and therefore my practice exists in a constant state of halfway
through several creative processes. This
needs to change.
The want for the more ‘intellectual’ side
of a body of work may at first appear to be lower down on the list of demands,
and to some extent the hunger for this is not the same as the hunger for
making, but it is an integral part of what I enjoy about visual culture. I enjoy deciphering and unraveling context
within artworks and the open discussion of contexts, concepts and meanings in
art and craft works is stimulating, and
something I readily participate in.
There are broader and specific thematic areas that do interest me,
however I often omit these and err towards the superficial when I produce my
own work (or embark upon my own stunted version of the creative process (possibly
because I rarely reflect and develop these ideas)). Beyond the attachment to a creative output, I
am keenly interested in my own behaviors & beliefs as they change and
respond to the world around, which in extension I relate to the behaviors and
beliefs of others in this world too…
…Ultimately I am concerned with
non-spiritual existential questions, and the struggle between reason and
feeling. I find it often too easy to
justify or explain my actions and behaviors (and the actions and behaviors of
others) through a rational ‘scientific’ approach (cause and effect), yet the
answers often don’t help to reconcile the emotional feeling. As an example, I often feel the sense of
average-ness about my self, my abilities, my looks, my thoughts, my choices,
etc. I use this notion to help connect
to others – often it has been remarked that I give good advice and help people
identify and understand the ‘psychology’ of their own confusions, predicaments
and problems. As a result I find people gravitate
towards me as a good listener and someone who can make sense of the mental or
moral mire they may be in. But in stark
contrast, within me this evokes a feeling of loneliness and disconnectedness
from others; why can’t they see things like I do? Why can’t someone make sense of why I
emotionally annex myself from other people? Why do they seem happier than I am,
in their irrational, provincial bubble?
My thoughts are serious, weighty and often make me feel unsatisfied,
judgmental, isolated and aloof. – and very alone. But I cannot help trying to
rationalise these feelings by applying my own psychobabble and rationality,
with no warmth or feeling. To summarise,
I find it impossible to just ‘be’.
My lack of self-understanding and wider
respect often manifests itself in my attitudes towards visual culture as
well. Certainly throughout my younger
years as a creative I had struggled with the definitions of ‘art’ and ‘design’,
and often tried to rebel against the ‘elitism’ of the creative industry’s low
view of the superficial and the purely visual.
I have come to understand and reconcile this through my teaching
practice, but I also believe there can often be an undeserved leaning towards
the conceptual in lieu of the aesthetic.
This leads back to the question of rationality versus the irrational;
why things feel right (or in my case why things feel wrong), despite all fact
and reason stating the opposite.
With these notions in mind, it makes sense
to explore the notions of rationality and the irrational mind, if anything but
to illustrate the difficulty of doing so in such a ‘proven’ world, where
cultural conditioning tells us how we should think, act and behave, yet as
individuals we often feel applying a rational mindset is not satisfying. Is this a human condition; do we long for a
pre-culturally programmed mindset (infantile, or perhaps even animal)?
NB – Importantly I am not remarking that my
work will necessarily be cathartic or serve as self-help, moreover this
discourse outlines a personal rationale for the effect my practice could
produce (no pun intended).