Saturday, October 09, 2010

Commission - Tendril Spiral

Commission - Tendril Spiral, originally uploaded by escher....

The trouble with attempting to espouse 'wisdom' is appearing to be 'holier than thou.'

BTW if you have neither the time nor the inclination to trawl through my ramblings but would like to hear about the commission and the meaning of what I created then go and look # here.

And if you want to see the 'making of', click on this photo to be taken to Flickr where there are more photos in the comments.

It's something I find annoying when I am on on the receiving end and one thing I have learnt is that what you find annoying in others is often something that you do yourself but are not completely aware of. So I feel duty bound to point out that anything that I bang on about are things I most definitely aspire to but, probably, very rarely actually achieve. I'd say self-awareness is a good thing to aim for as you really can't improve yourself unless you are honest about what you are like.

I don't particularly want to be lectured about the rain forest or world poverty by pop stars or green issues by people with influence but who are not leading by example. So if you find this annoying too then you can listen to me about land art but I'd change channel if I were you if I start banging on about animal rights or self improvement. After all there is nothing quite like a hamburger or the philosophy I find at the bottom of a wine glass. I will start to find myself annoying if this starts to turn into land art sermon hour every time I make something new.

However I am always surprised at human being's capacity for self delusion and it is quite easy to spot it in others. But does this mean that I am just as bad? What am I managing to hide from myself.

To demonstrate how enlightened I am I'll tell you about one of my favourite hobbies. You know I like making things and going for a walk but this other activity keeps me very busy too. As I live just south of the Lake District I get many chances to practice the craft.

And what is it? Shouting at people towing caravans.

Especially if they commit the heinous crime of one caravan overtaking another on a dual carriageway.

You've probably noticed that maybe this isn't really a hobby but a character flaw that makes me angry. It's not big or clever to shout at people in caravans but nevertheless I feel obsessed enough to do it everytime and I feel entitled to do it as I will NEVER own one. But now there is a problem. I have a dream of downsizing and making art all day and to LIVE IN A CARAVAN.

(That's in capitals as I was shouting at myself).

I expect if I ever do live in one I will deserve everyone else to shout at me and it will be quite a fitting punishment. Perhaps doing exactly that will be the final piece of the puzzle towards enlightment. Living in a caravan that is not being an artist. Either that or it'll be the death of me as I implode into a trap of self pity whilst I gradually die of self imposed embarrassment.

I am sure there is some sort of buddhist lesson about taking on your nemesis by accepting it whole heartedly. It seems mine is a caravan and my destiny is to live in one but I am not sure that it will ever make it into the 'Little book of Meditations.'

- Simplify your life and live in a caravan, grasshopper

- But why master?

- Because they are really annoying buggers on the motorway and always get in the way pootling along on minor roads. Isn't that obvious?

Has a nice ring to it don't you think?

I went to Grasmere again today to redo the commissioned sculpture. The first one was in a pile at the bottom of the slab as torrential rain has washed it away soon after I had created. Fortunately the client saw it at its best but I still needed to go along and recreate it.

Nearly always I try and make something new. Very rarely have I made the same thing twice. I like to be lead by nature and what I find and I need to be inspired by new ideas to find the drive to make and complete something. So it was interesting experience to make something for a second time.

It's done me a lot of good having the pressure of being commissioned. It has meant that I have had a different focus from my normal mode of keeping everything together long enough to get its photograph and to let the elements do whatever they want afterwards. Sometimes things last months and I am always very surprised. But less so when the wind destroys something in seconds.

I had to think a lot about how to make it more permanent, consider the techniques I am using and how to improve them. It is something I need right now as I feel I need to up my game and work out how to construct things in a better way. Use what I have learnt already and take it to the next level.

So although it kind of felt like work today I felt like I needed it, a whole new perspective.

This is the original sculpture and I went about it like I always do. Create it like I normally do, make it is neat as I can and then hope that it will last long enough but without really knowing if it will.

This is the first time I've had the opportunity to reconsider that approach with the same sculpture and do it again but better. I still don't know whether it will endure any longer but I tried to make it so. And as I only have myself to learn from I cannot do much more than that.

I was less bothered by the caravans on the way home as I felt a little more chilled. Helped on by the wonderful autumn sunshine we've had today and the wonderland of golden trees. There's nothing quite like a bright and warm autumn day.

We are doing another workshop tomorrow, fingers crossed that this weather continues!

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