Sunday 29 November 2020

Curtains Drawn in Daylight

"Tell us more about what’s in your image, the story behind it and the reasons why you created it."

I am so conscious of the limits of my intellect when writing about my work. Many words, phrases and even whole concepts can sit tantalisingly out of reach of my awareness. It's so depressing to be reminded of one's limitations and not accept them and in this moment I greatly envy those who have the natural capacity to access these areas with impunity.

Sometimes my brain seems to click into gear and everything I need and want is before me like found treasure but its so hard to seek out that easier path when I am so far off it and the more I look the less I can find it. In a pathetic attempt to shake off the dementia I attempt to stimulate the limited and increasingly diminishing brain cells the universe has bequeathed me.

Today began with a cold shower, then coffee and fasting but the path I want to be on still feels blocked, the next stage is to write about it and post it hopelessly into the ether. Next I will immerse myself in a protective bubble of white noise, something rhythmic and incessant on repeat then when that fails I will go for a run and then inevitably withdraw into banal stimulation and ultimately bed, blocking out the daylight.

Red Curtain, from Curtains Drawn in Daylight © Richard Ansett 2013 C-type 20x26"

The series 'Nothing Matters George' is the personification of the danger of embracing the hopelessness of existence, we find ourselves slipping into the swirling pit of existential loneliness which requires many times the energy to emerge from, if at all. The washing line stretches hopelessly across the frame like the crack in my psyche. 

From Nothing Matters George © Richard Ansett 2018 

We cannot find our way back without help.

The artist must dance along the edge of the pit to glimpse the treasure but we must have fallen at least once to appreciate the danger and in the presence of George I see myself in extremis.

"Do not fly too low nor too high, so the sea's dampness would not clog your wings nor the sun's heat melt them." - Daedalus

The artist feels they are communicating a clear message in their chosen medium and it is deeply frustrating and confusing when that message is missed, rejected or misunderstood even in a successful work. It is a cruelty in the expectation of visual artists to explain our work in anything other than the medium we feel comfortable in and inevitably we very often fail at it; I am embarrassed by the artist interview, the clumsy self-justifications and faux-humility to satisfy normative expectations in the hope of success outside of the enormous value the work is to ourselves.

I feel it is true of me and therefore inevitably of others that a sense of failure in communicating conventionally has driven us into the arms of other mediums and this ironically is the very catalyst for 'the hand print in the cave'.

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