Sunday, October 14, 2007


Falling Leaves - 1997 - Acrylic and pencil on paper - 73x54cm

Pattern, decoration, movement, colour, texture, shape, marks, pretty, beauty, sombre, bright, composition, shade, meaning, abstraction, figurative, conceptual, all these things and many more are aspects of making art. One should not limit what is possible in art, by preempting creative output, through worrying what the "Art establishment" may think. In fact the "Art establishment" are not all in agreement. The Avant-garde changes hands on a regular basis, like wet paint changing hands between handshakes at an art symposium.
It may be hard to crack the market or get noticed and make a few waves, but those that do, only burn for a short while. The important thing is to remember that the structure that supports the high flyers is prone to move or crumble. Aim high but keep a level head and if you want to produce art then go for it. Don't be robbed of the joy or challenge of making art, by an imaginary foe. En- garde to the Avant-garde whoever you are - or trying to be for that matter.

On Friday I went to the ARC ART, CRAFT & DESIGN BIENNIAL 2007. They ran a series of panel discussions through the day and a concurrent Art Exhibition. The two discussions that I attended had different speakers from different parts of the Art establishment. To me it was obvious by listening to the different speakers that the Art establishment is multi faceted, composed of many different opinions. Art is in a constant state of flux, and those who try to play the Avante-garde game have to constantly adjust and re-adjust, to maintain their credibility. It may be said that I have no credibility in saying this, but no one owns Art or can possibly have a monopoly on all Art.

This is the title and description of the first discussions I went to.

Is it enough for an artwork just to be pleasing to the eye? Can anything truly be just that, or do we bring to art our own feelings and experiences, always making it something more. In a global culture that increasingly conditions us to not look below the surface, is the contemporary art world, curators and artists, accepting or challenging this reality or are they moving towards shallow water. What is the position of design and craft practice in this debate? Is there room for anything more than contentless art, or is the ever-shifting ‘fad’ mentality of popular culture forcing artists to meet the very surface expectations of a consumer society? Curators and artists discuss this proposition, and through their own experiences and insights, endeavour to shine the light on where art is, what’s its potential and what it would take to make it happen.

The discussion was interesting, but searching. I found the speakers had trouble communicating fully there response to the discussion topic. There did however seem to be a vague concession that "Pretty" did matter. But I feel in the end it doesn't matter what the experts say, because Art will probably do it's own thing and rise up from some unexpected area and defy those who would judge it. But then again, it is still fun to talk about it.

Triangles - 1981


  1. I thought about going and then thought better of it. Been there, done that and I'm over it. Your observations fall pretty close to mine as usual.

  2. Yes, Loretta I went for one day, caught up with Scott Redford (who was one of the speakers)spoke to a few other artists, then decidedly had enough. I had intended to go the full three days, as a special treat, and do the artist thing, but as usual, I quickly reason and talk myself out of things.

    I think,I just start seeing through it all and lose interest. I actually try to avoid seminars and the like because I feel like someone is trying to sell me something. I don't respond well to group peer situations - I normally maintain my ideals strongly, and only give then up when they prove bankrupt, and then only in private.


Recent posts

Popular Posts

All Images Copyright D.Howard 2010