Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Vision of Saint Augustine

Me & Otto the Dog at Quarters Cafe, Highgate © Shu-Hui Chiao 2014

Vision of St Augustine, Vittore Carpaccio (circa 1503)
Isn't it interesting how much has changed but so little is different? I think the human experience is so fleeting; our collective progress as a species seems nowhere near as fast as the world around us. Progress is so difficult when we must all individually learn through experience. The same lessons of life first articulated by the great intellects of history must be re-learned each time by each of us through experience; it can't be taught. Modern society has made the access of information and education much easier (relative to Mr Augustine's time at least), so we can at least access the knowledge that empathises with our state of mind in that moment, We owe it to ourselves to make whatever progress we can at our own speed. (Mine is quite slow).

This is a spot (see photo) I enjoy spending some time in to do some writing, thinking or work on files. Its a lovely cafe called 'Quarters' in Highgate (near the tube). I walk through the woods and end up here for a couple of hours with my dog Otto.

When I first started coming here I was with film director Bruce Goodison; we were arguing about something as usual, when I recognised someone in another corner. It was Spencer Rowell the artist and psychotherapist who, when I last met him 15 years ago, I was photographing the top advertising photographers of a generation. He has spectacularly turned his back on that world and now is also one of the founders of Uncertain States.

This is the original home of the Uncertain States salons and I understand why, it still is a great and peaceful place to think through ideas and have discussions with the like minded and not so like minded.

Its very easy to loose direction and faith in yourself in such a saturated and competitive world. If you are a serious and committed artist and are open to a genuine dialogue and would like to talk through any issues you are having or get some feedback on your work, I am happy to meet here, just send me an email. We are not alone.

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