Glorious Descent

Glorious Descent
Acrylic on canvas 60 x 40cm

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A day, today

5pm till 7pm is a beautiful time to sit in my bedroom. The sun is at exactly the right position to stream in through my coloured glass windows and reflect pastel colours on my salmon walls. It is even better when there is a sun shower, does anything really beat listening to rain fall when in bed ? Then seeing it glisten on the leaves outside ?

Today I am exhausted, flat on my back recalling my day, I realise I am not so overcome with physical exhaustion but the saturation of information. Imagine how a dog behaves in the park, having spent the day in an apartment or small backyard. They chase their tail in a neurotic frenzy and run around in celebration with the other dogs, panting, digging, chasing a ball for a minute then doing an about turn an following a scent. Their acute sense of smell on over drive as they breathe in all activities of the day in that park. This is my mind sometimes. Some one once complained to me that I couldn't give a concise account of a day, and they were right, on days like today, my minds ability to process all that I have tasted, heard, set eyes upon and imagined is simply not up to an ordered standard.

Right now I am remembering the shimmering breast of quite a unique pigeon that I laid eyes on this morning. It was unusually beautiful, chestnut in colour and it wore a collar of turquoise feathers that glistened like scales on a fish - I think it may have been a royal pigeon. I recall the citrus salad, with sweet potato and crab cakes that I ate for lunch with that un identifiable dipping sauce that added such zing ! And how funny it was when Connie asked for some parmessan for her pasta and the chef defended his dish, arguing how the composition of rich flavours didn't call for added cheese. I think now, How little control we have as creators, with the work we present to the world. As individuals we each bring a different interpretation and a desire to engage with or simply reject what is before us. Our audience is not always open minded. But then neither is the artist, as I learnt during a lively conversation with a friend today. He was convinced that social and political criticism, should it wish to bring about change, should be pursued within the language and parameters of its relevant field. Rather than within the practice of art which was too poetic. If you want o pursue politics become a politician, he exclaimed. My opinion was that the freedom of art was its power which allowed more opportunity to instigate change - that the confines of bureaucracy within politics often limits voices and oppresses individuals that wish to speak. I understand people to be so conditioned now that we don't consider alternatives, be it in communication, opinions or behaviour. As children we would happily climb up the slide of the slippery dip, whilst our parents instructed us to use the stairs. What has happened to this mentality ? It seems detrimental to have lost it. I understood my friends stance though, having witnessed so much bad art for the sake of trying to 'say' and 'do' something, this power that I speak of is actually compromised. The issue we resolved was the junction of language and concept - not whether politics or other could enter art, this was too heirachical and limiting, but to consolidate the overlap. It became apparent that our concerns really lay in the nature of contemporary art and the polarisation of technique and thought. It wasn't that the criticism we spoke of couldn't be done, but that so far it had predominantly failed.

I had to train a new employee today, 'Madeleine will advise you of procedures' said my boss as she left me with Carol, who had just lost her secure secretarial job of 24 years. Mousy and timid carol looked at me - 'I will now instruct you in the art of doing absolutely nothing and everything simultaneously, in no particular order, observe closely carol' as I opened the door for a customer and lead carol to the coffee shop.

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