Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Old ideas come to the surface
This process of blogging is dredging up old ideas. Some of these ideas have been with me like friends for years now. For awful long time now I have had a fictitious character named Norman Gray that I developed. Norman has a fairly well fixed identity but his role in my artistic endeavors shifts around. I don't think of him as an alter ego as such, although I suppose you could describe him that way. I am not sure whether he is dead or if I should resurrect him as a part of my process. I don't recall exactly where Norman began maybe in some stabbing attempts at writing a novel. Around 1999 I had this idea that I could make art pieces I didn't have the time, money or space to produce by making them a part of a novel, the act of description if vivid enough would make the pieces exist and I have generally had more fun coming up with ideas than actually making the objects themselves, in this way I am a conceptual artist but I really just a dreamer. I see a lot of this ideas, symbols and personal visual vocabulary as being a complex web that is slowly forming in my mind over time, for along time the mundane aspects of life like working and cleaning house were a distraction from this very important mental construct that I was engaged in. Today I have a far less grandiose view of this mental activity or inner life but I enjoy its richness it makes life meaningful on so many different levels.
The other thing that this blogging process has dredged up is the amount of themes and threads that run through my work. I am often interested in the idea of real and not real, Norman Gray is a good example of this. The shed is a reoccurring theme, Norman Gray actually lives in a shed, and the shed however symbolizes the brain and specifically stored memories. The shed is also representative of a basic form, it's the most rudimentary form of architecture, pure function no frills. I like the way in England you get these old garden sheds at the end of a garden that are weathered by age, they seem so humble and so noble all at the same time.
The eyeball is another iconic image that often comes up in my work obviously symbolic of vision but I think there is more to it, the eyes that my work often conjures up are usually breast like. I have no idea what that's all about. I like the work to be somewhat mysterious, I want it to come from a place that is in the shadows I like exploring these hidden veins of truth but I think if I really found the answer it would spoil it for me.
Tonight I am going to make a piece of art around some of these themes.
This is the piece I made, connecting the dots, falling apart, confusion, overload, etc.