Today, being poorly and confined to bed, I worked on about 30 little line sketches before I settled to embellish a chosen few. I had been watching the short youtube clips (Tracey Emin – What artists do all day pt 1 & 2)of TE at work as I am still trying to develop a greater depth of understanding. I am left with a sense that there is a gentleness in the 53 year old TE, but that doesn’t negate the anger, abruptness, and directness of her younger self’s work. I very much like the large figurative work she is doing to propel her art beyond the work she was making before. The driving force behind her work seems to be the questions: Why am I doing this? Where is it coming from?
In amongst this, I emerged to the land of the living for a watch of the rain in the garden, and I created 8 half postcard’s for the SAA competition – looking forward to mailing these out to create new collaborations. Rather than 8 separate pieces I linked them all together so I could paint a continuous whole. I was thinking about the rain and the river and the estuary and how it carries on in my background more present than my heartbeat – it existed before and will exist long after. I decided to title all of these ‘A River Runs Through It’ not because of the book (or subsequent film) just because of the truth of it.
I like the idea these are going off out into the world to find their way with another’s touch. I like that sense of connection and separation.
Today’s sketchbook works are in a 6×8″ sketchbook. Some of the works are purely gestural, others the moodscapes I an developing and some still further a blind feel around my body from the inside out with some figurative denotation. I leave the exploration and identification of these to the viewer.
I’ve no handwriting on these as I’m consolidating the ideas from the forum thread filter, otherwise I know today I would have been too conscious of this element to be able to work with it intuitively.
I did take a look at the work of Emma Hauck as suggested by Stefan, thank you, but I’m afraid her diagnosis (and psychosis) was too similar to that I had to witness in another. Unfortunately, I relate too much to the dangers of obsession and infatuation by one with this condition and have received too many dangerous letters at its dictation, that I cannot see anything other than the potential to harm in her words and the symptoms of the condition. I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone and feel only tenderness and loss for her children and husband. I worry about the over-sentimentalisation of inhumane illnesses. The presentation of insanity as reasonable mind and potential for self-aware-authored art disconcerts me somewhat. While I can see the artistic appeal in her repeating patterns of words, who is benefitting from this re-appraisal? Her children never got their mum back. And goodness only knows what the family had to go through before she was taken into the asylum. And I very much doubt that the letters were any for of art therapy intervention for her healing. Complex issues that I’m not yet ready to explore – but one day… nevertheless thank you Stefan for linking to this as I know it will work its way into my brain for a reappraisal at a more enlightened time!
Nina also sent me a link to the work of Lisa Kokin. who features asemic art as an important element in her work. I feel safer with this conscious use of word power and the transformation of text. I also read her inspiring workshops and mentoring and wish I lived in her area – though I do see she offers this service via skype – something to consider. I do miss that role of a conscious mentor/ coach on this course. I agree wholeheartedly with her words, ‘In my ever-evolving teaching philosophy, which comes from my own studio practice, I have come to appreciate the importance of externally-imposed limitations in the creation of art’. The Textiles course offers me this – but as I approach the very end of part 5, just awaiting my tutor’s feedback I again wrestle with the fear of having my wings clipped just as they are learning how to fly me.