In my first blog, I intended to write a measured piece, one that would set the tone for this blog – something about the transition from businessman to artist, and about the journey from being a survivor to someone more enmeshed in the world. However, having graduated earlier this year, I am now faced with 2 group shows in London, one of which has a private view in Deptford tomorrow night. So I am caught between panic and excitement (high anxiety, to use Mel Brooks’ terminology), so this is a window into my current stream of consciousness instead.
The second show is in January at the Mall Galleries in central London; I have been selected for the Federation of British Artists FBA Futures exhibition, as one of the ‘outstanding arts graduates of 2017’ – a prestigious show and venue and I feel privileged to be involved with. More about FBA Futures nearer the time (https://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/fba-futures-2018).
The Deptford exhibition, Uncommon Ground, is a follow on from our Degree show at Plymouth College of Art. Seven of us are taking our work to the no format gallery as part of our drive to collaborate with other artists and arts organisations. Many thanks to the no format gallery for their help (http://www.noformat.co.uk/). On Friday we are holding a Collaborative Workshop to discuss our experience of collaboration and to see what opportunities exist for collaboration between art communities in the South West and London (spaces still available, see: Uncommon Ground Collaboration Event – Nov17).
As I look up from my laptop, I am faced by a black and white photograph of Frank Auerbach, a headshot, his impenetrable gaze looking straight at me. This image introduces a balance that reflects my practice. My work is a product of on creative journeys that require thought, research and a process that engages with ‘the oceanic depths of being’ (A Ehrenzweig). All of which takes time, peace and separation, and which cannot happen at the same time as the ‘high anxiety’ of exhibitions – I have not painted for 3 months. I now have to travel to Plymouth before going to London for the exhibition, and my time for reflection is very limited. I will use an essay to say what I would like to raise at this point. ‘Anton Ehrenzwieg: the Artist’s Best Friend’ is a recognition of the importance of internal processes in the making of art, and gives an insight into a central element of my practice (click here for essay: Anton Ehrenzweig). Ehrenzwieg’s ideas have informed my work and help me understand what it is I paint, and, in this context, sets the tone for half of what is likely to come in my blog.
As for the title of this blog entry, it will have to wait for another day.
I welcome comments on this and future posts – dialogue is key to development.