I have recently had a tutorial outside of the OCA to assist with my overall artistic practice and development. There were a number of pertinent and helpful pointers given to me which are the starting point for my self-analysis in terms of intention with my content and purpose.
Questions/comments from the tutorial:-
- If I want my work to celebrate life force or give some kind of hope, I need to look at how those ideas might generate gesture, palette, scale and form.
- Think about how the construction of music might give me insights to direct the armature underpinning my painting.
- Look into palimpsest – a true palimpsest has an aspect of chance and is two strong whole things partially redacting each other and creating a new form.
- Central tension in my practice seems to be the need for a structure which is fairly robust. Question how far that is in the painting explicitly or whether it is in my head directing my work, which is then operating in tension with the desire for a freedom and fluidity which borders on autopoeisis. Need to keep these two ways of working operating quite cleanly and putting them together in ways that allow them to affect each other without losing their potency (at least in the beginning).
- The focus needs to be on my structure – what will it be and how will it fit in the overall process. There are structures within and around my subject matters – can be quite lateral about it and allow several to come together to make something new.
Questions and thoughts raised in answer to point 1.
Why do I want to create art, what is my purpose? Is art now my expression of what I was seeking as a homeopath – an attempt to find some kind of understanding about the nature of the human condition? Is my artistic practice also based on my desire to alleviate suffering? Or is it an attempt to understand the human condition for myself and to alleviate my own suffering?
I am very aware I could create work that dwells on the darker side of suffering – it is a large part of who I am. I am also aware that I have the potential to embody completely the opposite. As a homeopath my intention was to always reflect back the beauty within each of my patients – to see the pure essence of who they were and to create prescriptions that would resonate on that level. I now want to embody this in my artistic practice – to offer hope, light, a moment or breath away from suffering. I want my work still to challenge and have strength, but in a way that doesn’t ‘darken’ or lower the energy of the viewer.
How will I do this?
Scale – I am really interested in the interaction of the energy body with large paintings, the sub-conscious response that is apart from thought, is instinctive. To that end I imagine using large scale to be of use, for the viewer being unable to connect solely with the intellect.
The other extreme with scale also feels pertinent to creating work – for it to be small, reverential, a devotional creation.
Form – layers, time, energy – they all feel really important. Almost to encompass the alchemical process in my approach to my practice of painting.
Gesture – to remember that each gesture, mark, movement is part of the healing process. That I have to engage with the place within myself as a healer to honour whatever gesture is required in each moment. To keep in mind on a practical level the variety of marks I can make, the way the paint affects that mark making.
Palette – this is something that will require research. I intend to experiment with the colour combinations used by artists that are currently inspiring me to at least begin my journey into understanding this aspect.
Questions and thoughts raised in answer to point 2.
The construction of music and mathematics feels a crucial point/structure to hang my work on. There needs to be precision and dedication to accuracy – almost an absolute structure to provide balance. I am also interested in how to notate/draw radionics frequencies. There are homeopathic remedy machines that make remedies using these frequencies. I would, therefore, like to use the structure of remedies that alleviate suffering to be a layer within my work. I need to get in touch with manufacturers to find out how I might translate the numbers they use to programme the machines into something visual. Each remedy has a code – how could I reinterpret that code visually? Is that where the mathematical or geometric structures come in?
Questions and thoughts raised in answer to point 3.
Palimpsest. I can intellectually research what this means but I feel the only way I will really understand it is by trying to work in this way. I, therefore, intend to create work in this way to see what happens and where my experience takes me.
Questions and thoughts raised in answer to point 4 and 5.
Structure vs fluidity and the tension created. This is an extremely exciting possibility within my practice. I need to start experimenting with different structures and my understanding of them. I also have questions about the fluidity – do I need to have a starting point in the figurative to move into abstraction or will the structure bring about the cohesion and brevity that I require to then create in a completely dynamic way. This is where the term ‘autopoiesis’ draws me in. I am unsure what it actually means to me in terms of my practice but it feels crucial to my development.
The following description on https://www.createadvantage.com/glossary/autopoiesis is something I am going to try and assimilate and understand in some way in my artistic practice. I am unsure how at this point but it is a line of enquiry that I would like to work through further.
Other thoughts regarding content (notes for myself)
Always be considering content and intention – always remember why I am painting? Keep asking rigorous questions of my own process to determine its validity.
Energy I hope to convey – spiritual, feeling of raising up, intensity, vastness, connection, oneness, hope.
What do I see as the ailments or dis-ease of our culture?:-
- lack of focus
- lack of grounding
My work is not to comment on this, this is simply an acknowledgment of areas that bring about weakness and vulnerability in the energy field that can then lead onto illness or disharmony. However, seeing these as potential issues I imagine layers in my work offering an energetic access point for the viewer to find a way to ‘sanctuary’ within the work. Within the work there needs to be:-
i need to find a way to draw in the viewer by mirroring the energy of our culture – so multiple images, multiple distractions so the viewer is soothed into exploring the energy of the piece, like a remedy – I give the energy to match the patient (in this case our culture) so the energy body is then released from the need to keep going along that path.
Question how I could use images that are familiar (as Rae does with her ‘cute’ animals etc). Try Japanese images, manga, cute symbols. What about instagram, Facebook, snapchat. What is familiar? What defines our culture, what images, what logos? (Technology brands, social media)
Tension – recognising challenging or negative behaviour patterns of today’s society but not caring people away, soothing them. Don’t want to freak people out, they might not be able to face what is reflected to them so it needs to be diffuse, hidden within layers, accessible by those that are seeking. I want my work to give them an exhale, a pause, be free for a moment.
Touch – This feels important. Should my work be interactive? Should it include sounds, screens? Want to continue to take the energy away from the intellect and into a sub-conscious response. Like the idea of the person walking through a curtain into a one person size box where a projection is shown (Kentridge?)
Starting point for radionics – look at the frequency for mobile phones , for carcinosin – that would immediately provide relief. What about putting flower essences in my paint?
**healing paintings are too trite an idea – that is not what this is about. This is more about my purpose, my reason for creating and finding a definition to connect with as I develop my practice.
Need to find out how one can draw a frequency. Think about division within the canvas – Diebenkorn’s earlier work resonates spiritual energy – feels like there is a sacred element without he paintings pertaining to be that. Don’t want to be ‘spiritual’ in the work, it is more the starting point from which my work is offered. The content is not intended to be spiritual in its nature.