Without going in to all the nitty-gritty of my life and to be honest I haven’t got anything to complain about. I’ve bumbled my way for 40 something years and yep I’m still alive. I eat well, I’m relatively happy, yes there always things I want to change or feel I could do better. So the question is “who am I as an artist”, my preferred medium is sculpture, but I never want to close off any other avenues, always keeping an open mind, this is the product of years of being a model maker, no two jobs are the same and your never going to say “I can’t do that” … so if the job requires jelly sweets you make them,
if the job needs a video, you make it and so on you get the idea. So who am I as an artist?, I like to tell stories. Aren’t we all storytellers in someway ? and especially artists, giving someone an image to look and to think about, that spurs an idea or leads you down a proverbial garden path is story telling, so thats a given then. So who am I ? My work involves a lot of process, I like process, the making, bending, glueing shaping, to me thats my happy place, its no accident that I make things for my day(ish) job, the thrill of a open brief is very exciting, the question “can you make me a ……” from a potential client is a song to my ears. And taking that concept and adding in Ben the Artist He commissions Ben the Model maker to make something is about an open brief one can get, so that why I am. So who am I ? The stories choose to tell, are definitely in the Surrealists, Fluxus and Gonzo camp of story telling so how did I get there, what led me down that path. The people in my life, close and otherwise had a big part in that. My early life has had no real dramas to speak of I come from a loving family, Mum and Dad were and are the loveliest humans, my mum is sadly no longer with us but you can see what she did when she was here at Haven House and my little Dad couldn’t be more supportive in my crazy schemes. My solo show owes a lot to his help, Two older Brother, both friendly happy people with lovely families around them, to be honest I’m closer to one socially and geographically than the other.
But the point I’m really getting at here is influence, the people in my life have influenced me up to a point. My Parents and brothers definitely gave me a map to follow for parts of my life, (saying this my dads sense of direction is rubbish so maybe map isn’t the best analogy here but you get the point.) and this in-turn has influenced my working practise. So lets go a bit deeper and again I ask the question who am I as an artist and is this the best question to ask. if I look back at the start and my early painting
they are me emulating the artist that had taken hold, Patrick Caulfield, Ralph Steadman to name a few, and at the time I thought I was being original, but this wasn’t me as an artist this was me learning. (oh it might help to say that I never studied art at school or university so the artist exploration happened on my own in a shed at the bottom of the garden) And today …. I still find the that my work has the flavour of others but definitely just that, a little dash of this, a little squeeze of that, with a strong smell of something I can’t quite put my finger on. I think this is where the unanswerable bit comes in, well for me anyway, I know me too well and I’m too close to the eye of the storm to make a valid opinion. The question gets passed on to the viewer, to see the work and make opinion for themselves.
In todays age of social media platforms and as a woking artist, we are expected and almost necessary to show more and more of the who we are and how we do it. With blogs and video of “how to’s”, “this is my routine”, “these are the socks I wear to work” I’m not saying this is a bad thing, I say this coming from a digital immigrants stand point and even tho I have my head around the what, why and wherefores, doesn’t mean I’m very good at it or have to like it. Its not second nature to me and I’ve never been very good at playing the popularity game. I much prefer to dance like a loon, to a tune no one has heard of and if someone starts dancing great ! nice to meet you.
Having said all that, isn’t this just that, another blog adding to the list of blogs about an artist telling you “these are the socks I wear to work” well yes, this is me and my blog, (I really don’t like the word blog, I think its because its to close to bog and growing up in the uk in the 70/80’s at school thats what we called the toilets “the bogs” as in “you going to the bogs to ave a fag?” meaning “are you going to the toilets to have a cigarette?” …….. can we change it for the purposes of this BLOG any thoughts ?) sorry where was I, yes the Blog and me dancing like a loon well I did say it was necessary so this me in Phase 3 of the master plan (check the last post) and me waving a semaphore flag for hello. This is who I am.. .and these are the socks I wear to work.