Saturday, October 02, 2010

Autumn Fire Whirlpool

Autumn Fire Whirlpool, originally uploaded by escher....

It's a funny thing this land art. Obviously I love doing it but then it is a paradox too, like much of life.

I remember seeing a film about an Everest climb when reknowned mountaineer Doug Scott said "when you are sat at home you long to be out on another expedition and yet when you are you wish you were at home with all your creature comforts."

Sometimes the flow of life takes you where you want to be. You just sit down in the current and are taken away. But sometimes you want to swim upstream, or, at least not go where the flow wants to take you and whatever you do seems to be against the tide. The yin and the yang, the dark and the light, flow and boredom. Constantly we seem to ebb between the two. Sometimes everything clicks and sometimes you have no idea what you want and most of the time you are travelling between them both.

I wasn't going to make anything this morning. I've made quite a few things recently and perhaps didn't feel the need or the drive for more. And there's another paradox. I've not posted everything that I've made recently for a number of reasons, one of them being that I wanted to see what happened if I didn't feel the pressure of posting everything that I do and always trying to increase the standard too. I used to feel compelled to always post what I've done but now I am only posting some of it I feel compelled to post nothing! Why's that then? Why's it an all or nothing thing? When I post everything part of the art is sharing it and yet when I don't it feels more personal. Go figure. It is something I can't quite work out but I suspect it is a window into my character and how an activity that I do for solitude and also for attention can swing between those two opposing feelings. I need both as most people do and my land art gives me them but not all of one side all the time. More yin and yang.

So this morning I sat between the two. Thinking that I couldn't be bothered and yet feeling guilty that I was wasting the day. What a common feeling that is.

I managed to extricate myself from the sofa and went for a walk. It wasn't long before I came upon some maple trees. The seeds were yellow and purple like rhubarb and custard sweets and the leaves every colour of autumn fire.

I wanted to make a sun wheel within a black mud circle, bringing together some of my styles of sculpture. The sun stayed out all morning but the sky turned milky white by lunchtime. I took the wheel, just the centre surrounded by mud, to the top of a rock outcrop but quite honestly it looked rubbish. It was then I decided the spiral was needed.

All the while I was doing this I was trying to talk myself out of completing it. "Why bother? You've made lots of things before, you can take a day off!" But yet I felt compelled to carry on despite my lack of intention. Unless it's going to turn out any good then what's the point? There's other things I could be doing and this one is not going to turn out any good at all. That's what my inner voice was telling me and yet I carried on regardless.

Which brings up yet another odd feeling I have when making land art sculptures.

I started doing it after first discovering Andy Goldsworthy's art and the when I first saw it a light went on in my head and I thought "that's so cool, I want to have a go!" And so I did.

And it's never changed, it's always like that. When I look at other people's land art and also when I look at my own.

Now that might sound conceited, that I like my own art like I like others. But there it is, that's how I feel. The whole time I'm making something I don't think it will turn out any good and yet, often, right at the end it all comes together and I look at it and go 'ooh, that's cool!" And it is always a surprise just like leafing through an Andy Goldsworthy book with sculptures I haven't seen before. I don't understand where the ideas come from or how I bring them to fruition. It just happens as I follow my nose and I am surprised as anyone when I like the final result.

Perhaps that is what all art is about? Tapping into stuff deep inside but only later, much later, perhaps a lifetime later you start to see and understand what is deep inside. I know I have no clue what it is at the moment, only that I seem to make land art and it brings me answers and many, many more questions. Much of it paradoxical, just like life.

When I positioned the spiral beneath the tree it suddenly all came together. What I thought was an okay sculpture made me think "ooh, that looks cool!" With no connection to whether I made it or not.

And then the sun came out and I moved it so that the rays could come through the centre. That was my day. Not knowing what I wanted to do, wanting to give up and carrying on anyway. So without really trying and not really wanting to I let my subconscious take the lead (not that I knew I was doing that) and this was the result.

A spiral beneath a tree and head full of paradoxes. Not many answers but a whole load of questions. Such is life.

1 comment:

ArtPropelled said...

There you go then ..... a gift for you and a wonderful gift for me. Your ponderings strike a chord and the Autumn Fire Whirlpool has brightened my early Sunday morning.