Tuesday, 2 June 2015


This blog is something of a two edged sword. It's invaluable in helping me reflect on my learning and progress as well as keeping me disciplined, but if I'm not careful I use it to avoid actually making any art. 

A significant hurdle for me has been to get away from language and articulation to actually just doing something. Given that I am still such a rookie, exercises like the one above are important for several reasons:
  1. They are done using media I haven't used before (charcoal and wax medium) which means I'm learning new ways to work
  2. They force my brain to work in a different way that is not dependent on writing or language
  3. Working this way helps me overcome that initial fear of failure
  4. Working this way helps me focus on process over result

 I continue to call this series of spontaneous work 'Cartographies' because I find metaphors referring to journeys apt for my studies and because it feels as if I am plotting out something that can only be done through the visual. What made my hand make these particular marks? Was it my subconscious? Was it based on a feeling? Maybe asking questions is pointless, the work does not have much to do with analysis and everything to do with action and reaction. 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Motherhood and Creativity 3

Untitled: First attempt at automatic drawing with charcoal and wax medium on paper
Barbara Hepworth's pictorial biography has been a constant companion recently. Easy to dip into while feeding or cuddling with my daughter, I find endless wisdom and inspiration there. Hepworth worked as a sculptor while having four children to care for, three of them triplets. Her attitude towards home life and creativity was holistic in that they mesh together to form everyday life.

Tracy Emin has stated that to be a successful (whatever that means) artist is impossible if one has a family.  Considering the somewhat narcissistic bent of Emin's work her views are not surprising and it's perhaps as well that she never had children. Aside from everything else, her statement seems to completely disregard countless women who have produced works of art while still managing to be caring mothers.Or indeed used motherhood as their subject matter.

True it is tougher for women, like most things seem to be, unless we learn to assert ourselves and maintain that our individuality is as important as being seen as a mother.

To think motherhood will result in the death of the creative self however, shows a lack of imagination.