Dec 202010

(The Journey)
(New energy & sacred collisions)

This talks about the division between traditional text book type drawing and pure language-based drawing.

When you have decided to start drawing things happen – it’s not like learning times tables or painting flowers on a card or joining up the dots but it means changing the channels…. you can, in a sense, hit right up against yourself…. you can go into a sort of emotional spin cycle, an identity crisis if you like…. you can have dilemmas and hit walls as you can equally go on a superb adventure of discovery….

I think it is important to remind all that, in this, you are not alone.
The ego can take a beating but if you are serious about wanting to go there, then you have to drop all previous and politely timid illusions about who you think you are and about what you think drawing is or should be.

That you have to maybe break your addiction to the fixed image, the singular subject… one must visit one’s instincts… it is necessary that one maybe has to get off the bus… that one no longer be a tourist… it is then one starts to remember, personally remember what great art is.

But how?
By a deliberate and conscious strategy of self examination, of experiment, of juggling images, of disordering visual perception… a rotation of one’s experience through more than one dimension… one perhaps remembers something… you may hear something… you do more than one drawing… each drawing works off the ones around it… you are taking notes… you are getting acquainted… you are making contact with who you are… you are not excluded… if something’s not working you try something new, you go to other spaces or you try new materials. You break old habits that may have been holding you back… you enter new perspectives (more than one) and try stuff. And try not to get embedded on just one level… we all hit walls… we all get stuck… and even get down… but don’t take it too seriously… it’s part of the journey… no shame.

It may be necessary to radically re-examine your vocabulary… to take a look at the meaning of words… what is meant by drawing? What exactly are we talking about? Can we assume any kind of definition or has it only ever been an enquiry into the nature of experience… what is ugly… what is beautiful… what is bad…what is good…what do any of these words really mean within the larger context of what we are looking at? ‘Label words’ are for lazy minds… be more subtle, take nothing at face value… accept nothing as fait accompli… this is the journey… the flat earth theory has been disproved… drawing is a working process, it is also a meditation, a philosophy, a reflection, a kind of yoga if you like… don’t lose sight of the broader issues… travel with an open mind… see every breakthrough as a kind of realisation… every realisation as only one more step in the odyssey that is drawing… be glad!

But what is good drawing?
It could be suggested that work is good, or is strong, or has presence if or when the integral elements of the work move together, have one voice or have resonance… when work is informed… when it’s integral components point to a greater and more valuable whole; or suggest something which is part of the greater cosmology… good work has mystery… it reveals something which is part of the abstract nature of the universe… good work has clearly upon it the hand or the signature of the author… good work has pow!… good work goes wow!… good work rocks… above all it touches, reaches, makes contact no matter how gently, seductively, subtly or even violently… it wears it’s own shirt… it has it’s own colours… it speaks it’s own dialect… it has no precedence… it is alarming in it’s innocence, surprising in it’s wisdom, incomparable in it’s originality and striking in it’s integrity.

Ultimately there are no rules… only open territory, naked states, coloured flags…. and only relevant or appropriate working processes. A relentless state of review… a distilled creativity… uncovering finally only that which is entirely real, that which is claimed, that which is owned, that which is met, that which is the by-product of joyful process and opened language writ pure without coercion, that which is part of the BIG BEAT!

inclusive excluding
unpackaged packaged
loose tight
adventurous tame
meditative designer
reflective THE GREAT DIVIDE limited
purist mercenary
distilled embroidered
vital boutique
inspiring cute
raw slick
mysterious sugar-coated
real illusionist
cutting edge done by numbers
original stylised
spacey enclosed
ambient predictable
spontaneous craft orientated
unmediated glamorous

Essential Criteria for the job:
courage / staying power
ability to go alone and be flexible
and not be afraid of the lions

Copyright  © Ron Curran  October 2003