Art must have begun with a yearning, a longing to express like dreams and visions, transferring and translating the experience of life for all of us to see. I am so moved by what I see as so much socially engaged and aware art making, and offering around me these days. Finally it seems art can stand up on its own two feet again without the heavy weight of commodity alone.
Maybe there are two houses of art making. That which is decorative and that which moves to decorate your soul. We need so much more of the latter, and of course nothing wrong with the former, it enhances life after all.
But let artists fully be the translators of the depths of being, let us lay it out for on the walls of our cities and in sculpture on our lands or let us do performances that transfer an aliveness of a moment of being from one to another. Like shamans, like the original artists, who valued art for its ability to transcend, artists all over the world now are trying to inspire and uplift society from its complacency of how things are. Life is here to be lived and honored, art can do that in a most intuitive and human way.
Here is two projects that I have come to hear about these last few weeks that have me inspired to say the least.
Sing out with Strings a community project set up by the Irish Chamber Orchestra based in Limerick, not too far from here, I have heard such great news about this project and its far reaching and positive effects.
And here is Ludique a new body of work by Aideen Barry placed in a primary school in the Padraic Pearse home in Dublin. This work is permanent and made specifically for the space.
I feel I have finally reached that compelling part of me again, that breathes with a drawing and smiles with every mark. If I can keep up this practice of getting to the studio in the woods, I am welcoming the practice so far. When I am there I am completely focused, its wonderful. Perhaps one day, the work will ask me to bring it out and it will achieve something in the doing of that. That my art could inspire someone with the sense of the majesty of being, is all I could ever ask for in working.
So many artists have done this for me.
Just this weekend, a dear old friend ( young and beautiful friend) came to visit. She is an artist driven more than any other I know.
She traverses the oceans on artists residencies and finds her self in all kinds of incredibly creative spaces, where great art has been made. We chatted late into the night on Saturday and I even had a couple of glasses of wine( my first since Christmas: ), drunk of course on my first glass.
As we discussed our present positions in life, we realized we had come to some similar conclusions. That we must make art because its important. Its as simple as that, and artists must be supported in doing so. Arts importance is so misunderstood. Oh to be patient not passive( there is an evolution to all things) as we can continue to legitimize or better still sanctify, if we could, the role of artists in community and society. I feel it in my bones though, that art is making such an impact socially like never before. In your library, gallery, museum, school, your festivals, city halls, art is coming out in all its generosity, even to our homes. Oh If only I could be a rich patron ( another dream job, I must be making a list now)
My Friend Aideen actively works for bettering the support and understanding of artists and does so through her work, both in art making, her teaching and writing. Such a pleasure it was to speak to her about such things and feel the desire again to do what I love to do.
Another wise friend lately described all the pain of life like a pile of compost: ) and that some day I can turn it and have a rich soil in which to plant my new life. Wow, even the thoughts of that again brings tears to my eyes. To really believe that the whole spectrum of human emotion and experience is worthy and valuable, that the painful days can determine so much about the capacity one can have to really feel the joyful days. It is a good thought. Being open to the part you play, and to play openly: ) Artists can translate life like this in all its joy and suffering and give us a visual, auditory or kinesthetic impression that can help us really experience ourselves deeply, on this gorgeous blue- green globe.
Being an artist in a creative process speaks so clearly about affirming the moment of being alive here, and real creative energy flourishes in that environment- And you know what else I think you can truly play as an artist and with art that is made.
Its the simplicity of that thats been so difficult for me to understand at times. Making art, experiencing art, viewing art, can bring you to that rich place in yourself, where new beginnings can be inspired and old ways understood, where you find yourself in some gallery or other space being reflected, beautifully, poignantly, sorrowfully, profoundly, spirit fully, and other sorts of other fullys by some artist who dosen't know you. It makes me long to make art and be around art, I am compelled to be creative no matter what the outcome. Like the first fingers that made marks on walls because they felt to, we are still moved by their work and we can always be sure that Art is ours as is life.
Artists need space and our support, they are making a huge investment in all of us by sharing their very nature with us, by being artistic.
Aideen and me at the black box theatre sometime in 2001-2002, having just completed some performance's with a great show of our co- students art.