This will be the start of some more regular entries to my art-pages over the next while. I wonder can I get some back and forth from fellow artists on their own art-practices? A few words and photos about how they work? While I will post this across my various “platforms” the artists among you will know that the best place to do this kind of thing is over on Tumblr. So have a look there too:
Engagement with my other practices tells me that I am “trying too hard”. In this case, the case of art, that means that I am trying too hard to ensure that a meaning or an acceptable context comes through in the works. Perhaps it’s already there, and it’s me who doesn’t see it?
I had begun to see a way of working that reflected my “Eastern” interests and influences. Some titles or categories that might help me to frame the works. These were, from India: “SATSANG” and “SAMSKARAS” and from Japan: “SATORI” and “NOH”. From China I saw a way to use “The Inner Chapters” that great work by Chuang Tzu. (The correct cultural definitions of these will follow).
These titles I had thought, might be a way to focus individual series of paintings that reflected their internal natures. “Samskaras” for example might be a more hectic, busy, mixed style. Sort of “messy”, like trying to work through our own impressions from the external world.
Whereas “Satori” could describe works that had been resolved in a very formal way. Perhaps they would have empty flat planes of colour. Zen-like.
But now I think that these “categories” might not be external definitions at all, but that they might better describe individual “elements” or forms within the working practice itself. This understanding sits better.
But even then, to state an overt interest or influence from a set of knowledge like Asian philosophy would be a no-no these days. We are living in a post-structural soup, where there are no solid rocks to hang onto any more, certainly not solid rocks that might be sitting in romantic Zen Gardens.
But as I remember trying to argue to my friend Simon before, “what would you say to the idea that there are sets of knowledge, or practices out there that encompass and go beyond the understandings of Western Philosophy”. Not so said my friend.