More of this shoot with Sarah here.
When I was at university we had artists talks, that the whole fine-art department was expected to attend. That’s roughly 150 students sat in a lecture theatre listening to someone talk about their work. I generally didn’t find these lectures interesting, and to a degree (ha!) I still don’t, although there are a few exceptions to this rule. (Also, as an aside, universities should pool their funds for these artists talks and get really interesting artists and then stream them through skype to the universities that pooled the money).
I find discussing the work as an act of self-congratulation, an exercise in ‘look how clever I am’. (We are never as clever as we’d like to believe, honestly). I care more about the life the artist has lived that led them to make the work, I care more about the time they cried because they had their heart broken, or the pieces of them they’d prefer to hide. It’s probably why I find Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama so captivating, they make works about those pieces we’d rather hide away. In some ways, these works are asking us to judge a facet of the artist and I am here for it.
If you follow me on instagram, you’ll see my latest works, and in an effort to be transparent and honest, I thought today I’d share some of my inspirations. Some of these things are music videos, some are artists, some is life experience.
Visuals - Chris Cunningham + Madonna - Frozen
Feel free to watch without sound… I do!
This is less about the song and more about the beauty of the video. That material, that colour toning, Chris Cunningham has created some of my favourite pieces of video out there and I literally love everything he does. I actually stumbled across Cunningham’s work through the video for Come To Daddy by Aphex Twin, and has worked with Bjork and many others, including The Horrors - Sheena is a Parasite. Everything Cunningham does has that creepy uncanny valley feel to it, and it’s something I want to emulate in my own work, I just haven’t quite worked out how. (Although I have a feeling it’s going to be helped along by Cinestill 800T…)
Life - Story Time!
During my first admission into the NHS’s psychiatric units I spent one day hiding under blankets and trying to find dark rooms to sleep. Now this involves one of my least proud moments (and thats saying something!), but I was young, scared, and unwell. Whilst standing by the doors with a blanket thrown over my head, one of the nurses told me I was scaring the other patients, and maybe I should just go to bed. Queue that wonderful BPD-meltdown-screaming-mess and me shouting some rather hurtful things. I often think of that time, and I also often think of how sensory deprivation does a lot for some, and sensory input does a lot for others. I’d not going into sensory things too deeply, because thats more mental health than art, but there’s something lovely in throwing a piece of voile over your head and pretending you’re in a different world, is there not? Just me? Cool (Y)
Music - Nine Inch Nails
I do love Nine Inch Nails, and The Fragile is an album I hold close to my heart. It’s an album I can listen to on repeat time and time again, sorry friends.
Now, let’s play a game, if you listen to this song, and stand in your room and let the music move you, sway to the haunting tones. Do you feel how I feel? Or do you just feel a little daft?
If you feel daft then thats ok, but do you feel in your own little world? Do you feel safe? I’d like you to tell me, because it’s part of this that informs my work.
Lets be honest
A lot of the time I care more about what others think about my work than any message I’m sending out, because it’s all in the receivership, and I don’t just mean instagram likes. I can see myself one day sliding into video maybe, because as much as I do love taking pictures, sometimes it needs the music too.
Nothing of me was ever original.