I’ve been working a lot this month at my part-time job so I did not read as much as I would have liked. I’m keeping very much within my existential writers so there is not much variation. Sartre is forming a solid basis for my current paintings but I am loving the work of Kafka and Hesse as well. Let me know if you have read any, I love talking books.
Albert Camus- The Plague- 1947-Fictio
Franz Kafka- The Trial- 1925- Fiction
Albert Camus- The Outsider/Stranger- 1942- Fiction
Jean-Paul Sartre- The Words- 1963- Auto-biography
Milan Kundera- Immortality- 1988- Fiction
Jacques Ranciere- The Politics of Aesthetics- 2000- Non-Fiction
Franz Kafka- Metamorphosis and Other Stories-Collection of Short Stories
Sylvia Plath- Crossing the Water- 1971- Poetry
Hermann Hesse- Steppenwolf- 1927- Fiction/Autobiographical
Stephane Mallarme- The Poems- 1977-Poetry
Hermann Hesse- The Prodigy- 1906- Fiction/Autobiographical
Samuel Beckett- The Expelled and Other Novellas- 1954-1979- Collection of Novellas
Samuel Beckett- Waiting for Godot- 19539 Play
Jack Kerouac- Lonesome Traveller- 1960- Short Stories/Autobiographical
It has been 6 months since I removed my degree show. I found myself moving into a new phase of post-art school identity crisis. Deadlines and opportunities come down to your own dedication. Having £0.10 left in your overdraft can sway you away from creating.
The physical act of making is not hard but, the continuation of making, without money, without solid opportunities, is difficult. Artists are some of the hardest working people I know. We juggle part time jobs and try to find spare time to create. Every spare penny goes into paint and canvas. Sometimes slight problems throw me off for weeks. You question whether all the tears and money is worthwhile. You aren’t considered original enough, experienced enough or even old enough. With the uprise in social media you discover artists from all over the world that are working in similar styles and themes. It makes you doubt yourself. That has been the thing that I have worked on most since leaving art school. The realisation that nobody is unique and to an extent no art is 100% original. You will face a lot of rejection and you just have to keep going.
How do I keep going? I’m inspired by my peers. The camaraderie of cheering everyone along and supporting exhibitions. I have realised why I do this. It’s not because I want money or people to know who I am. It’s because I have undying love for art. Just getting to paint and do what I love makes it all worth it. My advice to anyone considering pursuing the arts is you have to be prepared to work hard. People will tell you to give it up, and you will struggle for money. However when you see something you’ve invested so much time and energy on hanging in a gallery it is incomparable.
I meddle within the poetics of incompleteness: splicing together letters and colour to form abstract painting underlined by poetry and prose.
The essence of my current work has seeped from the novels and novellas of Vladimir Nabokov; an illustrious, floral writer, whose text is a source of clear visual inspiration. I jot down words and phrases of note and then produce colourful works based on my connection with the rhythm, phonetics and ambiguity. Whilst thoroughly enjoying the work of Nabokov my own painting process is not a representation of the text, but, merely a self-absorbed relationship with the act of the written word.
These past few weeks I have spent time in front of the rusting heater in my studio working my way through all of Nabokov’s novels. I have always found reading a rather indulgent passion and a method of temporary escapism. (I am a great gobbler of books). However, when I first encountered Nabokov’s novels I found that I was a lazy passer-by. I finally felt challenged. The texts on a whole are written from an unusual viewpoint, for example within ‘The Real Life of Sebastian Knight’ the perspective is one from the half-brother of a fictitious writer and stylised as a memoir. The creative approach to Nabokov’s novels has provided me with the inspiration and direction of my creative practice. For that, he has become one of my favourite novelists. Below is a list of Nabokov’s novels and novellas, this journal space is going to take the form of a digital sketchbook so the viewer can see my method of working.