I dig those days when you wake up in your subconscious rather than your concious mind.Jesus this sounds heavy already!!! You float through the day as if you didn't make one concious decision. You feed your pillow face some tea, you wander aimlessly from different rooms in your house hoping to find something old that you thought was lost. You don't really dress yourself, your clothes kind of drift from chairs and baskets and congregate somewhere on your body in hourly intervals of body coverage. Your hair decides it hates you and tries to free itself from your head by going upwards. You find yourself setting up shop at the end of your kitchen table and from there you take on the concentration of an 8 year old child who is building a castle out of Lego. Your looking for all the right bits and humming to yourself while sticking and making and before you know it the moon is perving in your window and you realise your wearing a girls t shirt and the day is done.
As an artist these days are like winning the lotto but you don't realise it until the following day. Its like the art side of your brain takes the steering wheel and drives you about all day long. I think today could be another one of those days or it could be a hangover!
On one such day a few weeks back I spent the day making a little medical cabinet winter forest thingy. I didn't really have a set idea when making this, it just came together as I went along. All I knew was I was going to put a day aside and make something for my girlfriend Anne but I didn't really know what.
I could give a bullshit story that I knew exactly what I was doing but I didn't really see the narrative in what I made until after, actually until Anne opened it and was looking at it. It got me thinking.
I love the Red Cross symbol and for what reason I'm not sure. I have liked it for years and use it a lot in my work. I think it comes from my admiration for World War II medics. OK so I'm admitting publicly I'm a total geek but you could at least hear me out before you start telling your mates not to hang out with me.
The idea of an unarmed person who waits on the side line of death and life, rejecting all fears in the most hostile environments, running from scream to scream, trying to stay alive just so you can save someone else's life. That's all the good in the world in one person in a concentrated moment of panic. Amazing! You can imagine that the Bastogne episode in Band of Brothers had a severe effect on me.It did, I make no excuses.
I am fascinated by this in a way I can't really explain so I guess it's why I translate it through things I make. The small things in life that we love that seem insignificant are most likely not at all insignificant, we just don't express them because we say things like, 'I dunno? I just really like it,'.Like the Red Cross symbol, I just like it or maybe its because I'm attaching it to something else or a certain time in my life. Yeah we're getting knee deep heavy now.
When I was little I had this plastic tractor I used to ride about on. It was a pretty cool tractor but what i really loved was this sticker that was on the side of it. It was a plain yellow triangle, like a logo, no detail, rounded at one side and kind of looked like a little spaceship. I dunno why I liked it so much because it was as interesting as the top of a shoe lace but I was kind of obsessed by it. I asked my ma would she get me one for Christmas...she was like " What the fuck are you talking about...what the hell have you been sucking out of that asthma inhaler? " I would build the shape out of Lego, draw little posters of it for my wall. It's strange thinking back on it now but it was as normal as anything to me just as anyone likes something for whatever reason but maybe we love something more when we don't have a reason. The most beautiful things in the world have to be the unexplainable right? That's love in a nutshell really.
Fair fucks for sticking with my babble way of getting to a point but stick with it.
When I made this little gift for Anne I'm pretty sure I made the whole thing from my subconscious. I didn't see the little story I created in it until after which was very strange to me. Its a little woodland, a fox delivers an envelope, I take the letter and turn into a paper plane and send it to Anne in her tree. She turns the letters into Origami birds to give life to the dead trees and a little ghost watches over us as we go. I think the only thing I I wanted to make was the tin can phone but the rest all just came about around that.
My point is this. When you make and do all day long and dedicate your life to art in some way or to creation, the most honest work comes to you when your not thinking. When you let yourself go to the influences around you. I hadn't thought of the medic thing for so long nor that episode of Band of Brothers but it stayed there in the back of my head and came out in this piece. Anne's Origami birds she always makes, the little ghost, my shit phone, the red cross, all little things that drift beside you when your floating about life.
The things we love, that we can't explain, like that front door of a house you see on the way to work or an old rug in your mates parents house, things we never admit to loving, these are the things that we need to illuminate. More than likely these things are a way of our minds trying to reconnect to something from your past, when we were most comfortable or at peace. If this sounds like total wanky bullshit talk please tell me so I can tell you to wash your mouth out. I'm so on to something here!!!!! Most likely madness but at least it's something.
I have friends who could relate to this kinda thing and others who would ask me to pass my crack pipe their way for talking such tom foolery. If you have something in your life your holding onto, a painting you made, a song you wrote, an elastic band ball, a dirty piece of a pillow case with a human name (Regina!!!!) these things are the most important. They connect you to something no one else can ever see. They were made on days like I made this box and they, without you knowing it, tell you who you are. Leonardo Da Vinci carried the Mona Lisa everywhere he went throughout his life for some personal reason and and I don't think it was any mystery. It was as mysterious as to why we hold onto anything we create with sentiment.
So I think if you want to make something be it through art or just how you go about life in general then don't think so much about it and keep your eyes open for all those things that you like and that influence you. Those are the things that shape you in my eyes. Now I'm talking positive influence, not Helter Skelter Charles Manson influence or the Matrix shoot up my school influence that shit is desperate lack love in life.
I hope I had a point with all of this don't want to come across as If I was am fdrunkk...hicup!
God I hope I'm never asked to give a speech at a wedding. " Looking at both the beautiful bride and groom it reminds me of this time when I was little and this cardboard dinobot wanted to take my hat but I wouldn't let him so a battle commenced and..... bla bla fuckidy blah!!!"
I think what I am trying to get across is this; If like me you spend your day thinking up ideas and then making these ideas into something and then you find reason for this just so you can understand the type of artist or person you are, well don't. Don't look for reason. Reason gives closure to something and with art there should never be closure. Just like love it needs no reason because when there is reason then you know it all and its all over. Like why did I write this extremely long blog? No reason I just liked doing it and you liked reading it and that's it.