An outroduction for a publication by Project Art Works
All human beings carry about a set of words which
they employ to justify their actions, their beliefs and their lives.
These are the words in which we formulate praise of our friends and
contempt for our enemies, our long-term projects, our deepest
self-doubts and our highest hopes. They are the words in which we tell,
sometimes prospectively and sometimes retrospectively, the story of our
lives. I shall call these words a person’s “final vocabulary.”
Richard Rorty – Contingency, irony, and solidarity
There are no truths.
There are only approximations.
And if it’s not one thing then it’s probably another.
We’re not, we are and then we’re not.
Much of what we have to say is pointless.
Much of what we do is meaningless.
But nevertheless we try to make meaningful that which is meaningless.
This is what we do.
This is our final vocabulary.
This is what Richard Rorty taught me.
(And to be faithful to the hilarity.)
When the self-doubt looms, when the what’sthepoint comes knocking and it’s a Wednesday I pop down to the old railway arch on the outskirts of Hastings.
She makes me.
This is where my daughter Eden shares a studio.
A forum for creative and dynamic exchange.
A generator for encounter and relationships.
A place to learn to care.
(And eat biscuits).
A place which is care full and ever receptive to the contingent.
You can’t have everything your own way.
This is a place where you get a keen awareness of the emotional and psychological impact of human sensibility.
You get to be reminded.
There are too many things we so often forget.
It helps me to refocus.
Project Artworks is the perfect example of how collaborative practice works in a dual fashion to shared advantage.
Two way traffic.
It is vital that the outcomes of practice find diverse homes and critical reception in all areas of contemporary culture. And not just within the context of Disabled Arts.
It is pivotal to the creative act and its purpose.
There is a contract.
And something new is happening down there.
‘Outsider Art’ (unsullied), is being made within the confines of a caring environment. It is being supported by practitioners familiar with the manufacture of contemporary art or ‘Insider Art’(sullied), and together they are begetting ‘Insideout Art’
This is new territory
The place rumbles with relationships.
A locus and conglomoration for incongorous thoughts and outcomes.
It is alive with happening.
And however singular the atmosphere might at first appear the making of art is inherently collective. From the funding to the making and through to the audience and then back into the archiving. All work is the result of a meeting of minds. Relationships are the ‘making evident’ of this process. They build a stronger foundation for experimentation, expand the shared knowledge base, and provide a space for creative learning. In many ways, it offers a model similar to that of the most aspirant universities. But this is an engagement with the marginalia, the uncooked and variant culture.
My own work draws heavily upon autobiography, its’ psyche and ‘geography’.
Plottings and mullings.
Cerebral comings and goings.
I try to position myself, in it.
I try to find myself.
But I’m often barking up the wrong tree.
Endurance and patience have become my compass.
Things that don’t come naturally.
The interior psychology versus the external landscape.
The inscape versus the vista.
The conundrum that is the Art nexus versus the rest of us.
And Eden has informed my life priorities.
There is the stuff I made before her and the work I have made after her.
Her remarkable presence in my life has focused, grounded and profoundly ‘confirmed’ my work in ways that I am constantly discovering and appreciating.
And she has found a home at Project Artworks.
A place of Settledown and Kindred Spirits.
Friendship and purpose.
And the organisation has become part of our final vocabulary.
A part of me.
(For Jon Cole)