Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sculpting Explosions

Why do we only write home when there is happy news ? Why can't we write postcards of woe and misfortune or post facebook pictures of gloominess ? Why don't we give in to the expression of being human ? Instead of putting on a brave face or burying oneself until the storm passes ?

I think about two comments that two different people in my life have made to me about happiness. One being that it is fleeting, so enjoy it while it lasts. Whilst this does inspire one to live for the moment it doesn't necessarily offer any hope for fulfilment or the promise of its return in times of darkness.

The second comment was about happiness as a sustained state of being, it is not something that just arrives one does have to work toward it - but is not fleeting.

I wonder about which state I feel most comfortable with, or which I think is true.
As things in my life continue to combust in more ways than one in front of me I wonder how exactly I can sustain happiness. When I reflect upon the way my mind and spirit responds to my work, art and relationships I wonder exactly how I am to sustain anything. Perhaps capturing a fleeting moment is more realistic.

Whilst I haven't been writing letters home about my struggle with life and worse still haven't even been able to admit it on my blog, I have been sharing words with a few friendly ears. I regret to feel like the melancholic defeatist and will probably put a stop to this soon. But not before I consider the suggestion that a young acquaintance from art school, made to me today: Perhaps I am not an artist.
'If it is not making you happy, if it is a struggle then why push it ? Are you pushing something that doesn't exist ?'A traditional National Art School Education teaches you to dedicated yourself to the studio, a practice that you maintain, through good and bad. I wonder though if this has made me blind ? Are the parts of the world that I consume, the colour, the tastes the paint that I want to mix, the sensations I want to write about just a dangerous addiction, that, like cigarettes create a great head spin but lead to destruction. Is art for me sustainable ? And will it sustain happiness ?

But now that I am so intoxicated, the question begs to be asked: What else ?
I can't for the life of me answer this. I shed more tears imagining a life without paint and plush than I do struggling with the mind games and day to day reality of trying to 'do it'. But if I don't pertain the courage and the dream to live it whole heartedly then I don't believe it is really worth doing.

I return to this state of sustained happiness and thus reflect upon my perception of what happiness is exactly. Perhaps happiness is hardship, woe, laughter and love. It is all beautiful. I think then, about my perception of the explosion in my love, home and art life that is taking place before me and try and imagine it as the explosion of sound that I heard at a Symphony concert tonight. My seat in the audience was an absolute gift, I sat directly opposite the conductor in the choir stalls and watched as he shaped the air in front of us like it was clouds of brightly coloured smoke. A great powerful sea of music that was overwhelming at times was rolled, elevated, softened and propelled by the bare hands of the conductor. Great Jazz classics were being performed in all their splendour and I imagined the engines of the city, the fabulous art movements and the exultation of life in the Cities of the 1920's. This was not pretty music, it stabbed at you and the conductor punched his players with insistent fists to burn their horns and pull their strings tighter and sharper. His eyes were mesmerising, seducing the violins to play languidly between moments. It was raw yet tight, sexy and cold. The orchestra could easily have exploded to the point of destruction but it was mediated with care and vivacious spirit.

Can I colour the smoke of my own explosions ?

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