Thursday, 14 June 2012

art is an honesty contest

The title of this post is taken from an amazing interview I recently read with Ran Ortner (this guy is an incredible artist, well worth checking out) in The Sun where, when asked how what weight he places on commercial/art institution success/approval, he says:

"Art is not a skill contest, nor an innovation contest.  Art is an honesty contest.  If we can be precisely who we are, in the most intimate and candid and courageous way, we will start to connect to the universal...In the compression of the intensely personal, heat is generated, and at a certain point it becomes expansive.  The work goes from the intimately personal to what's personal to all of us." 
summer basket - mrl 2012

Well, that's what I've been thinking about lately.  I'm Artist-in-Residence for the summer this year  at the gallery/shop of a good friend, Hutchinson Pottery & Gallery in North Milton, PEI.  It's in a beautiful old schoolhouse, about a 15 min. drive from my house, in a gorgeous, peaceful area, and it has no internet - but it does have a hammock! 
Hutchinson Pottery & Gallery - mrll 2012

It's made me realize how much time & mental energy I spend just exploring the internet & how little time I actually take to process any of it.  Since I started this week at the gallery I've enjoyed many a good Sit n' Think by the window or out front in the Adirondack chair.  It's wonderful.  I have time to read, reflect, and best of all, to make my art.  People drop by in no rush at all & chat with me & look at the wares. 

my studio for the summer - mrll 2012

I feel very personal about the work that I make, and sometimes, when thinking about the Big Bad Art World, making personal work seems trite or not in fashion, but for me it's where I connect with the flow of creativity, where I get my best ideas, where I relax and understand things.  It's honest for me.  I believe that the best thing the individual can do for the world is to become the best self that they can be, to dig deeply within, and 100% of the time, what is extracted from that core is universal to all of us. 

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