In my private practice that doesn’t involve whimsical dinosaurs, I work with a handful of motifs. In it’s most ambiguous it is the female form, in its most graphic it is aggressive teeth, unnerving, eyes and overtly intimate body parts and moments. The connotations of these motifs framed in an unforgiving and un-natural composition leads the audience some where they may not want to go, because they know what the work is saying or because they know they don’t want to know. Which in it’s self is why it exists.
Happenstance and the beauty of chance can lead to refreshing conversation. I spent a mere 20 minutes discussing various subjects with a total stranger. We crossed into an honest and wildly intimate conversation about my practice, we were able to unpick meanings behind the motifs that regularly occur in my practice, without him even seeing the work. I found it refreshing that a stranger could accurately see my motives and that it didn’t scare me. I was able to discuss the aggression and vulnerability to a person who doesn’t fit the audience perimeter that I suspect my work would be visually accessible to. Would the conversation be different if we were stood in front of the work?
Knowing the variables, I am open to new interpretations but my ownership of the work is absolute. No longer fearing or relying on an audience to unpick my anxiety spewed on to paper. Work no longer sits unseen then tells me what I meant months or years later, generally being able tell what my worry is worrying about and choosing if I want or need to share it with an audience.
Some one recently told me I was lucky to have this outlet, to be able to work through some thing emotionally on my own with a piece of paper. All they could do was talk and put it in the air and hope for the best at understanding it. I laughed, feeling lucky now. I wasn’t lucky when it was the only way to talk, when it didn’t even talk to me. I became lucky, able to surround my self with people who could see me, and it and get it. What is that? To sit and give that honest vulnerability, and be accepted and to accept it. Something about confidence and self worth. Refreshing.
Having always enjoyed a good juxtaposition it’s unsurprising to see it run deeply through my practice. Marrying the delicate and the aggressive, vulnerability with power, ecstasy and grey numbness. Within this is moment, a language that hasn’t quite got it’s legs yet, a vibration or discomfort . It’s powerful, but no more than I.
No fucks given.