Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I have a friend who is a writer, and as I've gone to art/literature events where she has read her work out loud, I'm continually blown away by how honest and brave her writing is. It is incredibly personal, but the process of sharing her experience seems to be so life-affirming for her. A publication she is involved with recently had a call for entries for works related to the concept of "Idol."  At first I had no intention of creating anything, but the idea for piece kept nagging at me and seemed to need to be made. I'm not really an artist, and this is certainly the most public I've ever been with anything I've created.  I wasn't sure if I was ok with putting it out there, but I decided to submit it to the publication yesterday. I just felt like I needed to be honest and open with myself a bit more and that this was, in some ways, a cathartic kind of experience that I needed to fully acknowledge and respect for what it was. 

Artist Statement

I finally gave myself permission to explore my visual creativity when I turned 30. I celebrate artistic expression and teach art history, but spent most of my life terrified of creating anything as I felt I lacked natural talent.  However, in recent years I have found freedom and empowerment through exploring my artistic abilities, and have discovered a voice to allow suppressed feelings and frustrations to come to the surface.  I aspire to one day call myself an artist without hesitation. 

Idle Idols is partially created from ordinary office materials such as Bic pens and steno pads, reflecting the mundane and humdrum nature of the images drawn. However when the paper cut outs are fixed on a gold-painted wooden panel the work takes on the air of a Byzantine icon, an object of devotion and reverence.

This work stems from the shame I initially felt in a recent church study that explored “idols” as being objects of desire that distract from God.   A common reaction to feelings of guilt is to busy oneself with acts of devotion and charity, however in the times we allow ourselves to be idle our thoughts often continue to fixate on deep-seated desires. The abstract doodle patterns in the starburst arrangement of paper cutouts in Idle Idols are a reflection of frustrated mental energy, and the drawings within the doodles represent obsessive “idolatrous” thought related to the desire for romantic relationships and physical intimacy, stress over money, release through mind altering substances, and the pursuit of “the good life” through leisure activities.  The synthesis of this work has moved me to consider that the “idle” thoughts and activities that at first caused me shame can also be thought of as a revealing and integral part of me that gives insight into what provides the most significance in forming my psyche.

1 comment:

  1. I lOVE IT! It's absolutely beautiful. You should definately keep making art.