Friday, 26 February 2010

The role of Art

This days I am writing an application for a future exhibition. With it, I was asked to send a paragraph of exactly 50 words describing the role of art. I could have just make up some kind of irreverent piece. But somehow I took a serious and sincere approach when writing it:

Art has a different role/edge for each individual. Those roles are not fixed they evolve.
For me it is a way to explore, apprehend and communicate my human experience. Art is embedded in my social relations.
But also I use art to experiment and transform myself and the surrounding world.

I left many things out. Maybe I should have written a whimsical piece, which could have satisfied more my artistic self. Instead I took it as a summarizing exercise. Which is something I have to practice nonetheless.
I did not mention the fun . Neither did I speak of my position as a consumer or user of art. But there is no need to say everything about everything, actually is impossible.

Friday, 12 February 2010


On winter times, you should keep warm, eat nuts and sleep. I was advised by a friend. Wise words, difficult to follow in London. I do end up having that guilty feeling of being lazy and laid back, the world is still spinning around and London with it, there are plenty of shows, talks, work to do, parties, functions, demos... whatever... In any case case I try to put my catholic guilt aside and, stop the headless chicken in me.
Most of my time during January was spent at the studio, I am working on figures now, I get quite absorbed on them, and it is the only thing I think about. I have been drawing too, and doing some house keeping within the folders of my computer.
No many exhibitions to report, also I have not seen anything remarkably special. I keep going to Matt Roberts help sessions for struggling artists. They are very helpful, and I have met some very nice people there. But I will talk about this other time when my opinion is more formed.
I wanted to comment on one talk I managed to assist last Monday. The talk was deferred from a previous date due to the cold weather, so I am not the only one. The talk was from one of my ex tutors, Ruth Dupre. I quite like her, lifestyle and art practice, I even like the results of her work. She was also an encouraging and positive tutor. So I want to keep in ouch with her, she is interesting...
She has been jumping from painting to ceramics to glass and now she is making movies. It seems from what she said that she is now interested in sound. We have something in common there, also the ceramics.
She started her talk stating that she does not feel obliged to talk about her work as her work is a way of expressing what she thinks, so if on top of that she uses language to define those expressions she will create two or more parallel discourses. I agree with this. After the clarifying introduction she guided us with words and images through her artistic trajectory.
The talk was for me a learning experience, capturing words and ways of describing my own artistic practice. Her attitude is so confident that made me feel reassured on my own ways.
At some point she talked about control. She wants to touch, edit, film, and be the one creator of her art works, no surrogates or slaves to make her will. She explain this as a need for total control. I can relate to that, but there is something else though. I have experience briefly myself the (suppose to be) pleasures of ordering others around, to do my will. I did not like it, it is a boring burden, I would not care, I prefer to do it myself, on my pace, and experience it, because that it is what interest me, to experience the creative process, not the end result. If someone is doing it for me, where is the fun and the discovery journey. I should say I am a very selfish person so you can not ask me for long to give duties to others, is like I have to construct their lives for them...I am more interested in my life...

Nonetheless I am not a power monger. Maybe I will, when old become bored with my life and everything. Maybe I should pity myself, as there are so many power mongers willing to manipulate and give orders around me. Some of their skills and attitudes are necessary to survive in the world. Living is not just creating nice objects or situations. Living is the fight for survival. And I want to live

Monday, 8 February 2010

On pots

Life at the studio has been the most important part of my day to day lately. There is a string of new works coming up and awaiting their turn to be realized. It makes a difference, a great difference for me, to be now mainly working on my magical realism pieces, rather than the functional table ware. I have to admit that time goes by at a very fast pace and I feel more committed to sculpture.
It is not the case that I force myself to make objects for daily use. I need this side of my artistic output to flourish too. It balances me. Besides I like to use them myself. They are special not like the lifeless slip casted clones. They have weight, they are warm, their colors are vibrant, they do not resemble plastic to me but a rock, somehow they make eating or drinking from them more exciting.
Pot making is a good training towards mastering the architecture of forms, in my case it is also where I allow myself to go wild with color and glazes. I let the abstract expressionist in my to come out of the closet. I paint on my pots, I paint with glazes. It is not the same as painting with oils, what you see is not what you get after firing. The firing conditions have also a huge impact on the colors and surface obtained. But all this is part of the special magic of ceramics. It is alchemy, it is making rocks.
My next outpost for selling/exhibiting my functional ware will be the first Saturday of March at the Abney Hall in Stoke Newington Church Street.