More Houses

Some text I was going to submit to the gallery at my school for a grad show in my last semester. It will probably change again before I resubmit it:

Growing up in the suburbs, I was surrounded by diverse phenomena. In the buildings I noticed a similarity and blatant copying of house models and frequent repetition of designs. In the people I noticed the same. The streets were laid out in all directions and the parks were unconsidered. I found suburbia an interesting if unstimulating place. In it a certain homogenaiety masqueraded as heterogenaiety. Even though the model of house you owned was essentially the same as every other and you as a person were really no different from any other person, there was always the option to customise, appearance, decorations and behaviours. To this extent, the people that surrounded me readily adopted labels and definitions of who they were offered to them by others.

The physical reality of the world we live in defines who we are and allowed modes of thinking. Neighbourhoods that are in decay promote further vandalism, buildings that are separated from the street by a step or two discourage further investigation, colours affect our moods and certain shapes provoke emotional responses within us. The physical or emotional response to visual phenomena are difficult to qualify as they are subjective and are often disregarded because of their nature. I aim question the spaces we choose to call our own and the extent to which we are impacted by them, to question these relationships which are taken for granted daily.

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The at show in Hubbards

So my friend Tabitha is putting together an art show in a restaurant doewn in hubbards, out side of halifax and I decided to put some work in. Funny thing is that the work wasn’t even made when I made the commitment. So I spent 8 hours yesterday making and putting together three pieces that if I do say so myself look pretty good. So here are the three pieces I made special for my group show in the resto. I’m selling the pieces for $65 each, hopefully I can make a little pocket change with these.

Valentine’s Day

Last Thursday I started drawing for my mixed media class and realized that I really like doing small- obsessive work. Alot. I realised this while I was doing some drawings of flowers. I finished one up and gave it to a friend. This is what it looks like. I’m really pleased with it and plan to make more like it. Look for more updates soon.

Studio Work

I spent one month essentially doing nothing in my studio class. Well, I was doing something. I was stalling. I was trying not to do something that I was going to regret. I bought supplies. I procrastinated.

I was lying in bed and it hit me. What could I do that was going to satisfy all my needs?

I needed to:

  • make art that didn’t suck.
  • make something that would satiate my desire to say something deep.
  • not make it seem as if I was trying.
  • most of all I needed to make art about, around the subject of – something.

This all seems rather superficial but I was just spinning my wheels for a while. I was stressed and unsure that anything I made would be unappealing or unproductive.

Like I said, I was in bed and it struck me: I’d do houses. I’d do the places we (should) spend most our time. The places with huge negative and positive connotations: Grandeur- waste-growth-coziness. Its got it all. If you ask me, its a heck of a place to start.

This image is the first in a series. This version is still incomplete, I’ll post a newer image when I put it back on the wall. Its charcoal on Academia.

Art by Definition

I was admitted into a class that I do not have prerequisites for- out of sheer good will on the teachers behalf. At the end of the first class he asked us to answer a questionnaire about ourselves. The final question has been bolded and I decided to post the answer because I like where I’m going with it.

My definition of art and ideas so far (I expect I’ll change my mind some time in the future):

To what extent is art practise connected to /separate from everyday life.

Artistic practise. I wonder what you meant by that. I wonder if you meant the creative act? I wonder if you meant a chain of creative acts. As I have been in art school I have heard much to do about the mystical properties of art and artists. The artist’s studio is a metaphor for the artist’s inner life. The artist acts as a mirror or a dream for society, offering up a symbol of great meaning and change on occasion. These ideas are not outrageous as they offer an explanation for the role of the artist withink the larger culture.

The definition of craziness (I’m using the idea psychosis) as written by Freud and later Jung is that of a person who does not subscribe to the same reality as the people around them. I feel like this sometimes while I sit on the bus with my dress form made from my body or when I do public art in the streets (at the request of my professors). I feel like I don’t subscribe to the same ideals as the people around me because I don’t. The nature of art is that of self and societal reflection, the creative act comes from seeing an item for the first time, forgetting all that it is or was and using it in novel ways. This is the same process of art and to an extreme that of psychosis. I believe (for now) that art is the process of letting go. A letting go of preconceptions and and embrace of infinite options.

The people around me engage only within the sphere of their lives. The extent of their preoccupation ends when it requires self or societal reflections. They choose not to look around and not to engage. Art practise is integral to existence as it brings together disparate parts of ourselves together.

Jung spoke frequently of homeostasis- the process of centering or balancing. The process would be initiated often by a symbol offered up by a dream which would force reflection and change within the individual. Homeostasis is the process of returning from the danger zone of any tendancy throught the opposite of it (If one were too chaotic for example, they may dream of order in order to affect their waking world and pull them from the brink of total chaos). The artist and creative act is one of homeostasis for our bureaucratic society. It is an small instance of insanity within a framework of ‘sanity’, metrics and logic. Art practise as defined – by myself- as the culmination of novel interpretations and uses for objects is integral to everyday life. Art practise is the spark to all creation and innovation and pulls us back to balance by offering an alternate view point both opposite and equal to those that dominate at the time.

Remodel

So I made a whole bunch of collages the other day. I tore up the faces of the women on the full pagebeauty product ads and put them back together in novel ways. Unfortunately I managed to save all of the good ones in black and white. OVER the colour files so they’re gone forever. Or until I choose to make

more.

I really liked the idea of tearing down these photoshopped beauties and putting the back together in haphazard ways that obscured the beauty they had. I think often of the ‘perfect body exercise’ where you take the pieces from other women in magazines to build your perfect- idealized body. Whenever I think about it I think about what a frankenstein creation it must be. To take pieces of someone else and try to make it a part of you. Its a very strange, alienating exercise I think. I wanted to explore the same ideas here. I hope you enjoy.

Early morning drawing

These photos are of a drawing I did in Figure drawing class. The drawing is 4×7 feet approximately. We spent the whole class on the drawing and I ended up sitting on the floor to draw it. I ended up with charcoal all over my pants. Surprise. It was really really nice however to finally spend some quality time- rushed time as we were in class- on a drawing. I worked quicker and more productively than I have in class in a while. It was alot of fun.