Monday, 10 April 2017

From the sidelines...

As you grow older you gain a certain perspective that is wider and more comprehensive through experience and the accumulation of knowledge. Age allows you to often view situations from the sidelines and yet know what  the crescendo will be before it actually occurs. This sharpness to perceive  is  because the mind has already been trained to recognise how to anticipate and imagine through the filter of informed experiences.  At 58 it is an interesting perch upon which I sit and view my world of belonging that is patterned by countless experiences that have taught me about life,  and which has produced an understanding to acknowledge the importance of where to fit my energies for myself without  being either wasteful or selfish.

In a conversation I had this morning I was articulating the value I hold regarding responsibility  and discipline as crucial to living ones life, especially as an artist. For most people outside of the art world these two words are perhaps not the associations made in relation to defining an artist, but in my engagement with the practice of art I am  very clear that these are important beads that I string on my personal rosary of reflection; and  which are the most important pegs that  give shape to my life choices at all times.

Perhaps because I know that the body and mind are not limitless  components that can function at their optimum forever, I work very hard to utilise my life as a clock of consciousness by which to hold myself accountable for all that I personally pledge to do; and to make certain I practice and execute whatever I need to without excuse or apathy.  Art is the space to which my life has found its belonging and I feel deeply indebted for the many opportunities that I have had to deliver my ideation for it to be interacted with. Ethics is of  supreme importance to me too, and I have often been taken aback to see artists not able to realise the importance of professionalism and why they need it as the torchlight of focus within their careers.  

Working as an artist and curator has given me an insight into how artists work with art management. In many instances artists can be so chaotic and unstructured, and therefore unproductive of their time and energy. Those who pooh-pooh at  this not being a problem are simply in denial.  The issue in question is finally how responsible and  disciplined do you choose to be.  The core to keeping oneself alert and creative  is to always have a framework/structure that encompasses all your needs and functional practicalities that you can access and work within, with ease. I find I can really do many more things by being ordered because I can then remain focused, and my time and energy has greater usability available for me. And for those that believe it isn't the hallmark of a truly creative person to be this way….well my bio-data certainly tells another story ! So my advice to all young artists  is to  discard old fashioned ideas of being anarchic and bohemian and recognise that to be an artist of significance and purpose comes with certain inherent responsibilities that insist upon discipline being part of the deal! Amen to that!

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