Before the group tutorial, some reading: Making art is difficult, an extract from Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles (ISBN 978-0961454739). Available from amazon.co.uk
Jonathan is at Frieze… so sitting at a table at the Frieze Art fair in London, I have just managed to crack the wifi password as well - it is ‘frieze2016’
Frieze: its very eclectic and there is the challenge — it is all about selling work so it is hard to get any sense of a body of work that an artist makes.
It is mainly big name galleries and big name artists. There are, however, a couple of smaller galleries are included, two from Peckham (close to college): Arcadia Missa gallery, and The Sunday Painter gallery which was set up by Camberwell graduates about 5-6 years ago.
Earlier in the week Gabriele gave an artists talk. He is exhibiting at Frieze — not directly – but through two galleries that he works with. He uses resin in some of his works. He was just mixing some for one of his t-shirt pieces but then mixed too much so decided to do make lots more work with resin. A mistake that began a journey. As Jonathan so eloquently put it:
Mistakes are never a bad thing, they can always be recycled into your practice
More important is what you do with a ‘mistake’ not that you avoid ‘mistakes’
And back to the paper, and the question: do you all find art making easy?!
Some interesting observations from everybody in the cohort:
have to do it because if i dont i would go crazy or something… but i dont always ‘enjoy’ the making… its more of enjoying the fact that i actually did it and the process of going through with it, rather then the making itself… sometimes the actual making is a very tedious one
If something was easy would it be worth it? I guess I see making what one might call ‘art’ as pushing myself - so eternally and entirely a struggle
Making art right now is easier — we are working for a specific purpose- our MA. There is care, audience and reward. Without it however, I think that depressing sentence can be true! We have to give ourselves purpose.
We create a lot of art just for ourselves, don’t we? We often forget to consider the audience because maybe we haven’t exhibited for decades
My take: Making art should be enjoyable (not necessarily ‘easy’)… but if its too much of a struggle, it tends to be put off.
And Patrick put it:
When it becomes a chore the procrastination kicks in. It has to excite you.
As Sarah R says
to have to work to a specific purpose might make things easier in some respect, personally I’m just coming round to the idea that my practice will go beyond MA if it were to ever feel near ‘completion’ .. So it’s still difficult to make things within constraints cos it will never be finished., trying to separate the process of doing art from doing a job.. Where you have to have a finished product.
A body of work is a really important thing — it suggests time and effort over time — this leads to deeper work
How do we organize and make stuff?
This is my methodology: I tend to adopt a disorganized structure (or organized chaos)… you need space to develop ideas, otherwise they are in danger off being too fixed, too boring.
Patrick’s response to that:
disorganisation can be good also, more spur of the moment…if too organised sometimes can be a case of …blank canvas now i have to make art..gulp
Assumption 1 of 4: ARTMAKING INVOLVES SKILLS THAT CAN BE LEARNED
Assumption 2 of 2: ART IS MADE BY ORDINARY PEOPLE
Art is made by people who aren’t afraid to make art… I think a lot of people are afraid to take the leap and make/create stuff
Assumption 3 of 4: MAKING ART AND VIEWING ART ARE DIFFERENT AT THEIR CORE
The MA process is sadly a rare occasion when the focus is on the process — for the assessment there is more interest in the process of work rather than the finished work itself — hence the importance of the blog.
Assumption 4 of 4: ARTMAKING HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER THAN THE ART ESTABLISHMENT
Artists decline from doing process videos on Youtube, maybe because they might think it’s giving away their secrets for success. But haven’t artists always been secretive, to an extent, over time?
technique is all we measure art against then yes we shook be secretive but that is such a poor way to measure art — it is about heart and depth, ambiguity and challenge etc — far more complex than simple technique — so give your techniques away — be generous and share — you will always only make YOUR work — others with a similar technique will make different work
This particular bit of writing - ‘making art is difficult and the 4 assumptions’ — finishes with this bit of advice…
OPERATING MANUAL FOR NOT QUITTING
a. Make friends with others who make art, and share your in-progress work with each other frequently.
b. Learn to think of [A], rather than the Museum of Modern Art, as the destination of your work. (Look at it this way: If all goes well, the Museum of Modern Art will eventually come to you.)
Finally, How a corporate cult captures and destroys our best graduates by George Monbiot. He is not an artist (he’s an environmental campaigner) but the choices he made after graduating allowed him to create time and space to explore the themes has was interested in — it was challenging but he did it and in his terms did not seem out to the corporate world and retained some independence — not an artist but a very interesting approach — we do have choices.comments powered by Disqus