Monday, September 20, 2010

Artists Statements etc

Detail New Work
Artist's statements are approached with varying degrees of trepidation by artists. After all we choose to be visual artists and not writers.
For the past few years I have found statements relatively easy to write and have enjoyed the clarity they afforded me. However I am wrestling with the statement for my newest body of work.
Collage has reappeared in my work again for a number of reasons. I had previously stopped shredding passport and visa images as I felt that I had said what I wanted and to continue to make the work however comfortable it was to produce I would be comprimising the integrity of the older work. I had also been feeling the need to paint after spending time at Ragdale and since my move I had been seduced by my surroundings and felt the need to explore this. I had moved from one comfortable and safe environment to another and wanted to paint and paint.
I loved playing with the paint and working with the imagery from the geometric patterns that have always been part of my work as for me they somehow symbolize the claiming of space. However in the back of my mind I knew that this was not my 'real' voice.
Then we were inundated with news of the election and the constant new arrivals of boat loads of refugees.
As the politicians scanned the maps looking for somewhere to put these people with the same fervour that they might look for a place to sight a waste dump I started looking at maps.
On the most superficial level they are almost as pretty as passports. But what are they for? You can find your way by the stars but you can also use maps to store information about ownership, weather patterns, geology etc. So for much the same reasons that I shredded identity documents I have started cutting up maps and floating the fragments on new works. To add further complication, even though I work with my back to the windows the colours of the seasonal changes in my new environment continue to appear in the works.
So how to make an artist's statement that makes sense of all of this?
I often listen to Bob Dylan when I want to think about my work. Two complete runs of Blonde on Blonde and well into the three volume deluxe Dylan set all I have come up with is 'the pump don't work cos the vandals stole the handle'
Where did I put my brain handle again?

1 comment:

Nicola Moss said...

Great post Susan. I find joining dots can happen when I least expect it, when I'm not thinking about it sometimes.
Look forward to hearing more of your thoughts.