Monday, 6 August 2018

Luxuriating in some, much needed, Time of Reflection

Playing in my studio
So much of being an artist is experiencing, feeling and reflecting on your personal experiences. These can be experiences in the physical world or even the world inside your head. 

………...I am currently luxuriating in a, much needed, time of reflection…………..

So often people think that as creatives we simply ‘make stuff’; well that’s NEVER the case! 

I need to have space: to think; to reflect; to daydream and to NOT feel time pressure. I have always said that I work in a playful way and that I respond to materials intuitively. I prefer not to overthink and not to have to explain or justify, therefore it is often difficult to talk about my work. 

I have always admired the way that, for example, Richard Slee doesn’t write about his own work. (In fact he also never answers his emails; you have to know who he shares an office with and email them and that person then communicates the message to Richard!...... But I digress!) 

That little aside gives a small insight into the tangents that my mind can take. A good friend commented, “But without your delightfully tangential thinking (and conversational habits) you wouldn’t be Kirsty”. I decided to take this friend’s acceptance very positively. 

You can never do too much playing

I have recently been reflecting on my experience of educational institutions both as a child and also more recently while completing PGCE teacher training with Sheffield Hallam University. I have been thinking about my (variably successful) attempts to fit-in; feelings of difference and how these have actually added positively to my art practice. I think that it’s an indisputable fact that interesting artists have unique viewpoints and interpretations of the world. 

I find it so much easier to express deep personal thoughts and emotions through the materials that I use and the sculptural forms that my physical art takes. Of course I understand why some people instantly see the erotic in my work but when making I stop myself from being self-critical nor shy about showing this side of myself.

Buddy (AKA Space Kitty) 

Last week I attended a Bloc Projects artist talk presented by Florence Mytum (she too uses materials which are rich in their sensory qualities). Florence mentioned Michel Serres’ The Five Senses in which Serres makes a stand against the analytical tradition of philosophy where language dominates over phenomenological experiences. Serres disagrees with the reductive tendency of logic, which says that in the hierarchy of the senses articulation through language is at the top of the sensory pyramid and tactile qualities are at the bottom. I am in agreement with Serres generally in that I do feel that, ‘we need to return to the immediacy of the senses’, and this isn’t me just being lazy about writing about my art, rather I want people to experience it …. to experience it in the flesh; not just on a screen. 

Most people can't help themselves... even if they are in an art gallery 

In my practice I push ‘touch’ to the top of the pyramid (with form and colour being close followers). 

In fact I am very happy when observers actually struggle to articulate their own responses. I enjoy when they are lost for words because their brains have been overloaded with memories, gut reactions, emotions and memory flashbacks that an encounter with my work has triggered.