Things are good.
How To Make Art Without Killing Yourself is an attempt to address the frustrations of being creative, particularly for those in the (often lengthy) "beginner artist" stage. I wanted to mock the contrast between artists who are struggling, insecure, red-cheeked babies and the artists who seem to simply exhale incredible pieces of work. I wanted to tap into the more or less universal feelings of inadequacy that will be all to familiar to all but the Piers Morgans of the art world. I wanted How To Make Art Without Killing Yourself to be at once both sympathetic and tongue-in-cheek, and I wanted it to offer genuine advice and inspiration. I originally envisaged it as a pocket book.
With Occult Enigmas my intent was to turn a book into a piece of my consciousness, my existence, and a record of my time. It feels important to have such a portable construction. I always liked small art because it could be carried around with me, becoming a part of me in the physical sense as well as the metaphorical/creative/psychological sense. This portability encourages the development of a personal emotional attachment. The book becomes a creature, a ghost of myself, a horcrux if you will. It records a progression in idea and thought, as well as in identity (it is also interesting to see those changes taking place upon a found book rather than something blank and/or new). Occult Enigmas is also an ideal outlet for my infatuation with collection and the assembly of collections. The book format necessarily demands that each page or double page spread creates a relationship with the other pages and with the book as a whole. One is forced to take the book as a book, as a collection. This can be manipulated in endless ways.
I wanted to make Occult Enigmas heavily compressed and jumbled, like a stream of consciousness (which it partially is), positing that perhaps you could pluck a swirling, tangible mass of thought from my mind and cut a cross section into it and what you would see could be these images.
It's significant to note that the textural world created by a physical collage is subject to change as the edges of paper pull up and bend and various materials may fade or rub off onto other parts of the composition. I embraced this as part of the inevitable mess of the project, but also as a metaphor for life and memory, always travelling and fading in the minds of individuals and in the collective consciousness.
Laying my own artwork on top of a found book in itself serves to symbolise the continual erasure of historical narratives in order to accommodate the realities of subsequent lives.
|My name collected from received envelopes|