Friday, 19 February 2010

"Why Do I Estrange Myself From The World?"

I went to see the new Billy Childish exhibition at the ICA this week and accidentally gatecrashed the private view due to getting the dates mixed up for another event connected to the same exhibition. To be honest, I didn't like any of the paintings in the exhibition, but I did like his books, record sleeves, film and music. Mainly it's because I've been spending a lot of time in the Medway area where his work is so deeply rooted and which he constantly references in his songs, writings and paintings. It's ironic that he is viewed as an outsider artist. Apart from not going through the formal art education system, he seems to have been readily accepted by a lot of galleries, people buy his work and the media publicise what he does. The main difference between himself and other artists is that he has always remained true to himself and not been answerable to anyone.
In terms of art work I do like, I've been taking a look at Fornasetti's collages for some inspiration as I have been asked to submit designs for a public art initiative in Brixton. This seems to be the first stage in a large scale project involving placing permanent artwork into the fabric of the street in a functional way, by using existing street signs, the pavement, wall spaces, bus shelters and street lighting. The designs I've been asked to submit will be part of an initiative to put artwork onto shop shutters on Coldharbour Lane. The Brixton scheme follows on from a similar one run in Southwark involving local artists and designers including Anthony Gormley and Zandra Rhodes. I think that Will Self and Maggie Hambling are taking part in the Brixton scheme which, should be interesting. It will be odd to step outside of my door and see my work on the street where I live.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Making as Thinking


I've been attending a lot of talks given by different creative practitioners over the past month. I like to hear about how other people work and connect with people, especially since my practice crosses over between different disciplines.
At the moment I'm in a 'making' mood.
A part of me feels that this is a bit self-indulgent and old fashioned. I'm not making objects specifically to sell. On the rare occurence that I make objects with the thought of creating a salaeble product, such as my origami necklaces made from book pages, I start thinking about exagerating the form, enlarging the scale and pushing the necklaces to an extreme so that they become closer to sculptures.
I don't know many people who do make their own work, apart from crafts people, but I don't consider myself a crafts person, although I do craft objects.
In a talk last week, the ceramisist Helen Carnac expressed how she thinks of herself as a maker not a craft person.
For her making is thinking.
I can identify with that.