Date: June 17, 2021
As a multimedia artist I am fortunate to have the opportunity to have multiple irons in the fire. One of them, currently, is an application to create public art. As part of the process I had the opportunity to meet (virtually) with an artist mentor who helped to guide me through the process. In preparing for the mentor session and in working on the application, I have been reflecting on my art in ways I haven’t in a few months, which has been an interesting exercise for me. It is almost as if I were writing a new manifesto of my art; I find that I am approaching it from a new perspective which has allowed me to see it in ways I hadn’t thought of before.
I have come to realize that my art is, like every artist’s, very personal and true to me and my place in the world. But I also know that my art, like all art, has universal themes which reflect the experiences of the viewer as well as my own; the viewer’s experience has as much value as the unique perspective I thought I was taking when I created the work. The artwork stands apart from me and is the creator of impressions and images in other’s imaginations when my hand finishes the work.
Although I don’t necessarily portray addiction and recovery in my art (at least not yet), it is part of my personal experience and so it is deeply ingrained into who I am as an artist. The experiences of my life colors the scenery of my subconscious in ways that other addicts/recovering addicts might identify in their own life-experiences. This is a vague statement made without any evidence, but I say it with conviction because I believe that the language of art can transcend other forms of communication. Much of this train of thought is revealed and explored in my writing but it is an undercurrent in my visual art as well.
I often use a fluid line in my art, tracing the outlines of space and carving out the meaning of a form on a surface, as described by the poem in my artistic statement:
Human forms emerge from shapes,
Like sails that fill with wind;
Rising up in arcs across the plane,
Laced together with fiddly strings.
This fluid style comes naturally to me and is the result of a lifetime of creating shapes and forms that helped me to communicate to the world outside my head what was going on inside my mind. It is also very similar to the style of my mother, who was also an artist.
As I am working through the application process and reflecting on my meeting with my mentor, I am more strongly believing that my art lends itself to public spaces. My style contains both theatrical and architectural elements which translate into forms that can be monumental in stature and easily scaled to cover a facade or fill a wall with life.
I look forward to sharing more in the next newsletter! These processes move quickly and I am constantly looking forward to continuing my pursuit of expression. I am reminded of the mantra I used when I was just starting out (I had it taped to my desk for a decade or two). It was from the poem, The Ladder of St. Augustine, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Good luck to each of you in your own adventures and I hope to be a part of your celebration when you achieve your dreams!!