Statements of Practice
On 1 January each year I take a quote from an artist or writer on art that has particular resonance for me at that time, and I post it to mark a moment in my thinking about art and my art practice, and to reflect on what has passed, and what continues to guide me.
2015: Over the past year a lot of people have been expressing concern that I haven’t been making any art, with an implied / expressed suggestion that as I wasn’t making anything, there was something wrong in my life.
I have thought long and hard about this, and have come to the following conclusions.
All of my art has worked in parallel with my various forms of formal and informal therapies, right from day 1. I failed my art O level. All my art from my art therapy in 2002 to date has been about working through emotional and psychological issues in tandem with clinical inputs.
Getting a degree, a solo show and a variety of other engagements out of this out of have been bonuses over the last 10+ years.
I am no longer in therapy; I am no longer attached to secondary services after more than 30 years; I have nothing left to work through, beyond the everyday, and I have plenty of friends and chosen family with whom to talk through things.
I would still like to show, talk about, and sell some of my literal shed-full of work going forward. The work I made is my truth and I will never forget that: indeed remembering it is part of what keeps me well and moving forward.
I could not have got to this point in my life without art, but my relationship with it for the foreseeable future is likely to be as an interested observer, travelling across Europe for exhibitions, and I am not unhappy with that.
I wish you well for 2015.
2014: During creative processes all are equal and free.
2013: I never did think I had anything to give to anyone not even myself, but through my art I find that I do.
2012: I want to discover new ways of configuring the world, both the world outside and the world within.
2011: Artists, like philosophers, can help us interpret the world, but only organised and collective human agency can effect its actual change.
2010: An artist can be committed, but what does it mean to say that his art is committed? Commitment is not a category of art.
2009: Revolutionary urbanists will not limit their concern to the circulation of things, or to the circulation of human beings trapped in a world of things. They will try to break these topological chains, paving the way with their experiments for a human journey through authentic life.
2008: Conformist, rebellious, and even eccentric views are always a function of the social position [ … ] of the individual concerned.
2007: The realm of human interactions and its social context, rather than the assertion of an independent and private symbolic space.
2006: In a society which reduces people I’m working to celebrate their richness and complexity. I see this as a kind of cultural struggle.
2005: There is nothing specific, nothing particular about that spot; just an accumulation of experiences and memories. This is where you learn, in the street, that’s how you’re shaped.