Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Talk to me! (1)

While I unravel a piece that hasn’t worked out and of which only the title remains (Keeping seven sisters warm – hope to return to it in winter) I ponder questions posed by an an art professional I hold in high esteem: "What is your gift to the audience? What would you want to happen to them?" It’s something I haven’t much thought about before – I do not commune with an imaginary viewer while I crochet away, but try to make work that pleases and challenges me first of all, hoping it will ultimately be able to stand up for itself in the world. My art practice is mostly a solipsistic pursuit – after all I make my work on the living room floor and direct contact and conversations with other artists are still rare. So what better place than talking here, with you?
The first thing I would say is that I want my art to move. My work is not about big statements, even if its underlying theme, exploring notions of otherness, is an important one. I hope to affect the skip of a heart-beat, a jolt, a pierce, a sudden mini mind-stumble, when at second glance the viewer realises things are not as simple as they seem. And in that little side-step a different form of engagement might be possible, a drawing close, a connection. Maybe to people’s childhood memories, to how they felt when they were small. Maybe to other instances of vulnerability, of uncertainty - or of judgement. And when they try to imagine what kind of body might inhabit one of my outfits maybe they'd ask themselves questions about perfect and imperfect bodies, about what we phantasise and project when faced with the mystery of otherness, in ourselves, in those we know, in those we don’t know.
More to think about: abjection, the psyche, form, medium, beauty, but too tired just now. What's on your mind?