It is difficult to be a painter alone in your studio, no matter how much time you spend there. You have to show your work and engage with an audience, for it is social contact that energises and renews us.
Christopher Allen, Arts Writer, The Australian
Christopher Allen goes on to say that perhaps artists were luckier in earlier times when they were commissioned to paint significant subjects for public places such as churches. Their works had a shared meaning that people understood and that was relevant to the time and place. Artists therefore had a responsive wide audience.
Now, perhaps with the exception of graffiti, art is not so imbedded in the fabric of society. It has become rarified being ‘held’ by esteemed institutions. In contemporary western society at least, you can see fads in art and ‘trending’ artists. There is fierce competition to get a gig at a commercial gallery, or to be part of a prestigious gallery ‘stable.’ We speak of ‘the art world’ as if it is quite seperate from the real world.
That leaves an outsider artist like myself, who hasn’t been to art school. but who is serious about her practice, wondering how they can find a way to escape from what Allen calls “the quicksands of solipsism”.
Being an artist is about creating works to be viewed.
A website and blogging is one way to reach an audience, though it does have limitations where visual art is concerned. That said, it has never been easier to publish your creative work, be it literary or visual.
Every city has its pain place. In Darwin there’s the man with no legs elevated in a shady doorway. There’s the bus driver constantly glancing apprehensively in his mirror at the back of the bus where a drunk disheveled woman directs angry shouts like blows at a man in the group.
How lucky to find myself in Marrakesh during the Biennale in 2016. I came across this installation at an intersection while checking out local galleries in the suburb of Gueliz.
The Zbel Manifesto Collective of four artists from Marrakesh comment here on something close to my heart, a concern about the proliferation of plastic, or at least that is what their work says to me, though no doubt the French explanation tells more.
It would be impossible to go for a walk and pick up plastic along the highways in Morocco; you would never reach your destination.
Sadly the white flecks along this dry creek bed are plastic bags, not stones. We have yet to come to grips with the environmental consequences of plastic, that 20th Century wonder material.
I keep finding gifts in the op shop for the mysterious woman in the wide brimmed who is spray painted on the wall of a building in Casablanca. She has now taken up temporary residence on my bookshelf. A frame, a heart, a mirror and a flower surround her like a shrine. Her creator painted a rose and a heart ever so deftly in the left hand corner of his homage to his absent love.
… letters not blogs. I noticed this vibrant street art of an alert feline outside a cafe whilst lunching in Rabat. Little did I know that the artwork decorated an otherwise mundane, and purely functional element of the urban landscape.
“And you can tell everybody, that this is your song”
Like Elton John the street artist wrote down the words to the world of his love, but used a spray can instead of a song. My photo missed the tag so the artist remains anonymous, like the woman to whom he offers a heart and a rose. Anonymous these two may be, the visible and invisible, yet they express something very intimate and personal described by artists, poets and musicians down through the centuries. (For in my mind, he is a Romeo, and here is his Juliette).